I’ve been featuring a few books for children on Linda’s Book Bag and am delighted to be part of the launch celebrations for Erica’s Elephant by Sylvia Bishop, with illustrations by Ashley King. Suitable for children aged 6-8 years old (and middle aged women) Erica’s Elephant was published in hardback and e-book by Scholastic Books on 2nd June 2016 and is available from Waterstones, from Amazon and all good book stores.
I have a review of Erica’s Elephant, but when I said I’d be part of these launch celebrations I was also asked to write a few lines about what I’d do if I found an elephant on my doorstep so you can read my thoughts about that too!
When Erica Perkins wakes up on the morning of her tenth birthday, the last thing she expects is to find a very confused elephant sitting on her doorstep. So begins an unlikely friendship. But can a small girl and a rather large elephant learn to live together in a tiny terraced house? And when the dastardly owner of the local zoo plots to steal the elephant, will Erica be able to outsmart him?
You can see more about Erica’s Elephant on Goodreads.
My Review of Erica’s Elephant
Erica lives alone and on her 10th birthday her Uncle Jeff sends her a live elephant with a bad knee. This is the start of a series of problems and some interesting life lessons!
I thought Erica’s Elephant was pitched perfectly for the age group of 6 – 8 year olds. The language is simple and clear, but not patronising, with sufficient depth to allow both slower readers and the more able to enjoy the story on different levels.
There’s all the ingredients for a charming and exciting story with elements children will know and understand; like being in trouble with authority, running away, feeling lonely and needing friends. The concept of being friendless is sensitively handled and would be fabulous for children who feel isolated form their peers.
There are many references to wildlife, natural environments and zoos so that discussions could take place about how we care for and protect the animals on the planet. I also loved the way Erica learns not to judge others by appearances and realises that not everyone is as they seem. Erica’s Elephant has important life messages for children that are presented in an entirely natural and non-preachy way.
I really enjoyed this story and must also mention the high quality illustrations provided by Ashley King. They enhance the text and serve as a wonderful visual stimulus. If I were a primary aged child I’d be thrilled to receive this lovely book.
An Elephant on the Doorstep
I’d love to find an elephant on the doorstep – think of all that manure for my garden and allotment! I also have an old tree stump from a long gone flowering cherry that is taking up too much border space and an elephant would have no trouble extracting it from the garden so that I could plant even more herbaceous perennials.
However, what I’d most likely do if I found an elephant on the doorstep, is bore it to tears. And elephants do cry – I’ve seen the wetness from their eyes at close quarters. I’d be so over-excited because I love wildlife and have been on several safaris, being privileged in seeing elephants in several countries of Africa and Asia. So, I expect I’d get us a cup of tea and some chocolate and make any visiting elephant look through all my holiday snaps (like the one above I took in South Africa last year) to see if they recognised any of the elephants I’ve seen, or the places I’ve been…
About Sylvia Bishop
Sylvia Bishop is 23 years old and has recently graduated from Oxford. She is one half of the brilliant improvised comedy duo Peablossom Cabaret. Erica’s Elephant is her first book, and she intends it to be the first of many quirky stories for young readers.
There is more about Erica’s Elephant with these other bloggers too: