Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Ella the Elegant Elephant

Ella the Elegant Elephant

Carmela D'amico, Steven D'amico
Picture Book  Series
For ages 4 to 6
Scholastic, 2004   ISBN: 978-0439627924

Ella and her mother have just moved to town and Ella is rather worried about what her new school will be like. Two days before school opens Ella is helping her mother unpack some boxes when she comes across one that has her name on it. Inside the box she finds the most lovely hat she has ever see, a gift from her grandmother.

On the first day of school Ella joins all the other little elephants in their blue school uniforms and soon she is in her new classroom. It is easy to tell Ella apart from the other little students because Ella is wearing the big hat that Grandma gave her, in all its glowing orange, and flowery, glory.

It is this hat which brings about Ella?s problems in her new school. Because of it she is given the nickname "Ella the Elegant" and soon poor Ella is very upset about the way she being treated at school. Even her mother?s comforting words about how "things will get better" are no help.

As it happens Ella?s mother is quite right though no one could ever have imagined that Ella?s hat would end up being her saviour.

There is no doubt that this warm and sensitive book would offer a child who is in a new class or a new school a great deal of comfort. After all, if Ella and her hat can find a home in a new place, surely anyone can.

Steven D?Amico?s softly glowing pictures brings Ella and the elephant world that she lives in to life. The art has a slight resemblance to that created by Jean de Brunhoff for the Babar books, with an added flavour of mystery and magic.