Saturday 25 June 2022

Elephant Island

Elephant Island by Leo Timmers (Gecko Press) HB RRP $27.99 ISBN 9781776574346

Reviewed by Kylie Buckley

Arnold, the seafaring elephant, finds himself shipwrecked and all alone in the middle of the ocean. He swims to find refuge on a tiny rock island, but he is stranded. Eventually, a ‘mouseboat’ approaches and the overzealous elephant accidentally ruins any chance of rescue. Unfazed by adversity, he turns the negative into a positive. With some creative engineering, Arnold builds an extension to the island with the remnants of the mouseboat. Arnold takes more care when the next boat approaches, but the result is the same. Once again, he builds an extension and shares the sanctuary with his fellow shipwrecked friends. After a few unfortunate incidents, Arnold transforms the island into a unique place of entertainment. It attracts a myriad of lovable characters and becomes a hive of fun and frivolity where no one wants to leave.

Elephant Island is a hilarious picture book highly recommended for an audience aged 4 years and older. The detailed illustrations beautifully extend the text and provide a visual delight for young eyes. The book’s themes include positive thinking, problem-solving and friendship.

Leo Timmers is a multi-award-winning Dutch author/illustrator. This book was originally published in the Netherlands with the title Het eiland van Olifant. This English edition has been translated by James Brown.

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