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BOOK REVIEW: If I Had an Elephant by Richard Fairgray and Terry Jones

| 14 July 2017 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: If I Had an Elephant by Richard Fairgray and Terry Jones

Scholastic New Zealand
May 2017
Hardcover, $19.99
Reviewed by Steph O’Connell

Picture Book



If I had an elephant for a best friend, there’d be no stopping us!

Wed get matching jackets.
Wed build a time machine together.
Wed have OUT OF THIS WORLD adventures…

IF I had an elephant.


You can tell from the cover that this is a particularly special book, and inside does not disappoint.

Through the juxtaposition of mostly two-dimensional backdrops and human characters and the detailed texture of the elephant that make him really “pop” with and almost three-dimensional feel, readers are sure to be delighted by images that are easy to take in at a glance without being overwhelmed, but also might find upon closer inspection that the images hold more detail than they first realised. 

This is a cute and quirky story about wishing for something in particular and anticipating all of the great things that something will entail. 

It’s about imagination, adventure, and dreams, and at times the story goes in unexpected directions, which just goes to show the fun of imagination.

If I Had an Elephant is a great book to read aloud, has something for readers of all ages, and is a good way to start a discussion about hopes and dreams, but it also has a nice wrap-up in which the main character gets a gorilla and dragon for his birthday instead of an elephant, and goes off on his adventures with these too, without giving up on the dream of an elephant, but also seeing the value in what he was given.


Category: Book Reviews, Other Reviews

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