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Summary: Elephant and Mouse are bored, so they decide to go to the playground. But the playground equipment does not work properly for them. Imagine a seesaw with an elephant on one side and a mouse on the other! Repeat with a swing and a merry-go-round... It is a disaster until Elephant offers his trunk as a slide for Mouse. In the end, they are each other's favorite playtime activity! This is a wonderful story about the beauty of diversity and friendship.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, anytime reading, read aloud book, learning to read
Recommended Age: read together: 2 to 6; read yourself: 4 to 7
Interest Level: 2 to 5
Reading Level: 0.5
Age of Child: Read with and by two boys, ages 4 and 6.
Young Reader Reaction: My kids LOVE this book. LOVE LOVE LOVE! They loved it when Mouse tried to eat a whole watermelon to balance out Elephant on the seesaw; and when Mouse goes flying off the swing. They were heartened at the end when the two friends make each other happy just by being together. This was definitely a story the kids could relate to! I thought the boys would like it, but they liked it even more than I had anticipated.
Adult Reader Reaction: I loved this book. It has action and yet a sweet, tender story. I loved that the kids loved it, and I loved that the story taught as much in values as it entertained with action. I fall in love with this star-crossed friendship every time I read it. I also related, personally, on an adult level -- that it's not the material things that make kids happy (because, inevitably, the material things fail) -- but it's the personal connection between people (parent/child, siblings, friends) that really is what makes life good. And, that it's important to reward the other person with affection and praise. Sweet, sweet story. So gentle, so tender.
Pros: Don't let this sweet story fool you ... there is lots of action and a lesson in values. Animals appeal to kids this age. Some simple, single words will help beginning readers, too.
Borrow or Buy: Buy.This is one you'll read over and over and over and over again. It would make a lovely gift for a baby's home library.
Educational Themes: There are lots of ways to share ald talk aobut this book: friendship, sharing, playing nicely, teamwork, and being creative in finding solutions to a problem. Elephant and Mouse by their nature also lend you opportunities to talk about size and opposites (Big vs. Little, Heavy vs. Light). A great choice for beginning reading.
Notes: The author donated a galley edition of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile.