Tuesday, September 10, 2013

An Elephant in my Backyard reviewed on Kirkus!

Exciting news! Our gorgeous picture book An Elephant in my Backyard is reviewed in the extremely prestigious Kirkus Reviews. The book review is currently available only to subscribers, but will become visible on the website to non-subscribers from 22 September 2013. But in the meanwhile, we're reproducing the text of the review here for you!

An Elephant in my Backyard


Did an elephant really follow Maya home from the temple in her Indian village?

When she first meets the baby elephant, the animal sneezes, and the little girl says: “Bless you, Acchu.” The homonym appears several times in the text, adding a little “Who’s on First”–type spin to the general confusion of the grown-ups in the house: “Maya, I thought you were an elephant!” exclaims Appa. “No, that’s Acchu!” she replies. “Bless you,” says he. There is no glossary, but Paati and Thatha (grandma and grandpa) and Amma and Appa (mom and dad) are very easy to decipher. 

None of the adults ever realize that the elephant is in the yard; they just glimpse little parts of it. Maybe it’s a hose? Maybe it’s the end of Maya’s braid? But they still seem to be in the dark until they notice the big mess of banana skins and coconut shells little Acchu has left on the ground. After all, Amma had told Maya exactly what elephants liked to eat. The light, humorous story is illustrated with attractive, amusing watercolors that portray a mischievous girl at play with her animal friend. There’s nothing overt here about rural Indian life—just a simple way to open readers’ imaginations to another part of the world.

Many kids will wonder why they too can’t bring an elephant home to play. (Picture book. 3-6)