Bound To Stay Bound

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 Elefantastic! : a story of magic in 5 acts: light verse on a heavy subject
 Author: Yolen, Jane

 Publisher:  Chronicle Books (2022)

 Classification: Easy
 Physical Description: [42] p., col. ill., 28 cm

 BTSB No: 973300 ISBN: 9781452176819
 Ages: 3-5 Grades: K

 Balding, David, -- 1939-2014 -- Fiction
 Flora -- (African elephant) -- Fiction
 Human-animal relationship -- Fiction
 African elephants -- Fiction
 Circus owners -- Fiction

Price: $22.58

An unlikely-and entirely unforgettable-tale of a most unusual friendship between Flora, an elephant calf stolen from her African home, and David, the circus impresario and magician, who adopts, trains, and ultimately liberates her in a tale freely inspired by actual events.

 Illustrator: Helquist, Brett

   Kirkus Reviews (05/15/22)
   School Library Journal (03/25/22)
   Booklist (04/15/22)

Full Text Reviews:

School Library Journal - 03/25/2022 K-Gr 2—A captured baby elephant is trained as a circus attraction and then after many years of service taken to a preserve. Sadly, this controversial subject, despite the gentle presentation, is further complicated by Yolen's use of text. Almost every page supplies a nonword to explain what Helquist's illustrations so clearly depict. These words begin with "ELE," or "ELEPH" in all caps, so a baby elephant trapped in a camouflaged net because of hunger is "ELEPH-ATE." The art shows the baby bound, flown, fattened, and the text is "ELEPH-BOUND," ELEPH-FLOWN," "ELEPH-FATTENED." and so on. It's confusing and pointless; this unsuccessful word game was inspired by the life of David Balding, a wealthy man, who, in the 1980s, wanted a pet elephant and performed with her until he didn't. VERDICT A nonfiction treatment of Balding's story sounds compelling, but this version is not.—Nancy Call - Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Booklist - 04/15/2022 It’s a terrible day for baby elephant Flora, who wanders off from the herd, gets tangled in a trap, hauled onto an airplane, and spirited across the sea to join a traveling circus. Things look bleak until a magician strolls by the tethered calf and takes pity on her, raising Flora into adulthood with lots of loving attention and play. The pair develop a snazzy circus act and crisscross the country for years. When the magician realizes that it’s time to let the aging elephant retire, he sees Flora off to a peaceful sanctuary with plenty of other pachyderms for company. The unusual text is made up of single rhyming words, each one featuring an ele prefix, elegantly summing up the action on each page: “ele-washed / ele-weighed / ele-painted / ele-sprayed.” The charming gouache illustrations are packed with expression and detailed insets, and their combination with the circus-font text gives the proceedings a delightfully old-fashioned feel. Young readers will revel in the colorful carnival atmosphere and tender interspecies friendship. - Copyright 2022 Booklist.

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