Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Book Review: Elephant Girl

(Reclaimed from Blogjob. Tags: children’s bookelephant joke genrefunny book,picture booktwentieth century British authors.)

Book Review: Elephant Girl
Author: Ivor Cutler
Date: 1976
Publisher: William Morrow & Company
ISBN: 0-688-32065-1
Length: pages not numbered
Illustrations: drawings by Helen Oxenbury, some partly colored
Quote: “She pulled up the grass. An elephant’s trunk was at the end.”
Elephant Girl is not a story so much as a really elaborate elephant joke. The main character, a child with white hair and brown eyes, is called Balooky Klujypop and is obviously meant to serve the purpose, important to some educators, of being ridiculous enough to get boys to read a story about a girl. She unburies a live elephant from the garden, using “a big teaspoon,” washes it down in the sink, and rides it through the house.
Adult readers will inevitably remember their favorite elephant jokes, and will probably feel inspired to add to the adventures of Balooky and the elephant. Isn’t it nice to share a laugh with members of the next generation?
Well...some children in the four-to-eight age range have developed enough of a sense of humor to share the elephant jokes with an older person. Some have not. So know your child—if you’re really buying Elephant Girl for a child. If you’re buying it for yourself, I’ll understand.
This is one of the books that I owned, and reviewed, years ago and sold without checking the current prices on Amazon...and I'm sorry, now. In order to sell Elephant Girl online, now, I'd have to charge $30 for the book, plus the standard $5 per package for shipping, plus $1 per online payment. Ivor Cutler hasn't even had a use for $3.50 since I acquired the book...and I let a serviceable copy, discarded by a library but intact and apparently mold-free, go for less than a dollar in real life. (I can assure you that in real life the cover drawing is cuter and cleverer than the computer-generated sample book cover graphic Amazon offers.)
You may be able to find a better price online. If so, feel free to take advantage of it. If, however, you buy Elephant Girl from either of the addresses at the very bottom of the screen, the same $5 shipping charge will include as many other books as will fit into the package, so you can throw in books by living writers who may appreciate the Fair Trade Books system. (Click on the "Fair Trade Book" tag to read about books that are in the system and how the system works.)