Author: De Seve, Randall
A little girl hesitates to initiate a friendship with her new neighbor Zola because she imagines Zola is busy with another friend--an elephant.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 2.40
Points: .5 Quiz: 501896
Kirkus Reviews (+) (07/15/18)
School Library Journal (10/01/18)
Booklist (+) (06/01/18)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/10/18)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 06/01/2018 *Starred Review* A redheaded girl, longing for a best friend, peeks out her window and sees Zola, a new girl, arriving next door as two movers push a big box into the house. What is in it? Since it says “FRAGILE” and “HEAVY,” it must be an elephant! The observant narrator smells toast, which of course is what the new girl must be feeding her elephant. Sounds of water splashing must mean Zola is taking a bath with her elephant. Hammering sounds must mean they are building a private pachyderm clubhouse! The intricate and surreal spreads show details of stars, balloons, bubbles, and boats. The intervening pages, in a subdued gray palette, reveal what the lonesome and sad newcomer is actually doing: covering her ears, washing dishes, and playing listlessly with her yellow canary while the adults unpack boxes. When the redhead bravely rings Zola’s doorbell, magic happens. Children will love the surprise of what is really in that box, and how the two girls discover a wonderful friendship packed with imagined elephants, hot-air balloons, and even whales. Vivid pages abound with the gemlike layered mixed-media paintings in the signature style of this two-time Caldecott Honor Book illustrator. Whimsical and surreal details, both real and make-believe, celebrate the joy of pretending with a new friend. - Copyright 2018 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 10/01/2018 PreS-Gr 2—A young girl has a new neighbor named Zola. Both girls' mothers think that they will be fast friends. But our narrator worries, what if Zola already has a best friend? Her imagination takes over when she sees a big box being moved into Zola's house. She's convinced it must contain an elephant, and why would Zola need her, if she already has an elephant with whom to play hide-and-seek, build a clubhouse, and to take bubble baths? The author and illustrator tap into the feelings of insecurities that young children face with the uncertainty of new beginnings. As the young girl frets over all of the reasons that Zola will not need her, Zagarenski captures these imaginings with her trademark illustrations full of crowns, stars, and swirls that sprinkle the page. The colorful, digital and mixed-media illustrations are offset when viewers see Zola's reality full of hard lines, gray palette, and empty space to show the loneliness and sadness that she is actually feeling moving into a new place. Finally, the narrator decides that all the things she imagines Zola having and experiencing are things that she also loves; she braves her feelings and goes to meet Zola. Zagarenski's textured and detailed illustrations will capture children's imaginations, and will have them enthralled as they follow the many smaller animal familiars through the pages. VERDICT A must-purchase.—Danielle Jones, Multnomah County Library, OR - Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.