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My elephant
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Both funny and sweet, this intergenerational story trumpets one boy's boundless imagination -- and shows how truly infectious it can be. (Age 3 and up)

What to do when Grandpa and Grandma are too busy to play? Ask your imaginary elephant, of course! He's tons of fun, even if he squashes the flower bed, breaks a few things around the house, and gets a little too splashy in the bathtub. But Grandpa and Grandma will understand -- really. With his trademark vibrant, energetic illustrations, Petr Horï¿1/2cek introduces us to a delightfully enterprising child, some wisely laid-back grandparents, and the most endearing elephant you'll ever want to meet.
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School Library Journal Review
PreS-Gr 1-A child's grandparents are too busy to play with him, so he creates a friend that only he can see: a large, fun-loving, pencil-gray elephant. When the smiling grandfather asks who "messed up" his flowers, the child blames his new friend. The same goes for the missing muffins, the mess in the hall, and the puddles in the bathroom. Though the child apologizes, he seems to feel sorrier about blaming his imaginary elephant than upsetting Grandma and Grandpa. However, all is forgiven and the next morning Grandpa suggests playing ball. The illustrations appear to have been created with pencil, pen/ink, and watercolor and then cut and pasted onto clean white backgrounds. This is a slight story about a boy and his imaginary friend, and the bright mixed-media pictures are the best part.-Maryann H. Owen, Racine Public Library, WI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
When both Grandpa and Grandma are too busy to play ball, a little boy plays with his elephant instead. When the elephant messes up the flower bed outside, much to Grandpa's dismay, the pair heads inside. Grandma doesn't cotton to the explanation that the elephant was the one who knocks over a vase in the hall, makes puddles in the bathroom, and eats the cupcakes, which makes the young protagonist sad. Though spare, the whimsical, expressive mixed-media illustrations have a great deal of energy. The portrayal of Grandma, however, is a bit overly stereotypical wearing glasses, sporting a gray bun, and stirring batter. Cleverly using gray crayonlike scribblings for the elephant, Horacek clearly conveys the point that the clumsy elephant is imaginary, but Grandpa buys into the boy's story when he tells him the elephant carried him to bed. This sweet ending gives a message of affirmation to kids with imaginary playmates.--Austin, Patricia Copyright 2009 Booklist
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