Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Twenty-One Elephants

Twenty-One Elephants

Phil Bildner
Illustrator:  LeUyen Pham 
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Simon and Schuster, 2004   ISBN: 0689870116

Hannah is a little girl growing up in New York City. From the window of her home, Hannah can watch men building the new Brooklyn Bridge, and she can’t wait for the day when it will be finished. More than anything, Hannah wants to walk across the bridge. Unfortunately, Hannah’s father is afraid to let Hannah cross the bridge. He, and the other members of the family, are convinced that the bridge is not safe. The President of the United States crosses the bridge, the mayor crosses the bridge, and the bridge’s chief engineer cross the bridge, but Hannah’s father still thinks that the bridge is unsafe.

Everyone Hannah talks to feels the same way. No one supports Hannah’s dream to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge because everyone thinks the bridge is “too long” and “too tall.” What can Hannah do to prove to her family, and many other Brooklynites, that the Brooklyn Bridge is safe to cross?

In this delightful picture book, Phil Bilder weaves together fact and fiction to give young readers a tale that is interesting and different. Though many people did use the Brooklyn Bridge after it was completed, many others were afraid to travel across it because they did not think it was safe. Thankfully someone came up with a great idea that would prove once and for all that the Brooklyn Bridge was safe to use.