written by Susanna Leonard Hill
illustrated by Daniel Wiseman
When your elephant has the sniffles, you better make sure he doesn’t start sneezing! Gather up your tissues and your pillows and take good care of him! This charming and hilarious board book highlights the many ways to make an under-the-weather elephant feel better! But don’t get too close…or you just might end up with the sniffles, too!
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- A CBC Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year
- A Bookroo January 2018 Selection
The title says it all. This is one of Hill and Larranaga’s series of sculpted-edged, transportation-themed board books. It takes its ninety-seven freight cars full of animals, toys, fruit, and lumber safely from an eastern railroad yard cross-country to its final western destination. Along its route, the engine must stop for a crossing gate and barely avoids a head-on crash when Switchman Jack almost forgets to switch tracks for a passenger train, but all is well that ends well. The flaps are absolutely basic paper engineering, but manage to hide a few surprises, while the softly rounded forms of Larranaga’s politically-correct mixture of little people are comforting. Meanwhile, Hill’s rhymed text chugs the train forward. Alas, the red caboose no longer exists in modern railroading, so for that old homey feeling toddlers will have to make do with the girl engineer’s ginger cat.
In a board book that reads like a picture book, an unseen narrator offers advice for caring for an under-the-weather elephant. Wiseman’s chunky cartoons introduce an unhappy-looking gray-blue elephant and the brown-skinned girl who tucks him into bed, brings him “lots of liquids,” and tries to keep him entertained. Hill’s cautionary text lets children imagine themselves as caregivers, and the ending—in which the girl winds up sick—will feel awfully familiar to adults who have watched the sniffles work their way through their own homes. Simultaneously available: When Your Lion Needs a Bath.
A child finds out an elephant with the sniffles is a lot of work—and can be contagious to boot!A brown-skinned child with two cute buns atop her head works very hard to stop her elephant’s sniffles from turning into a sneeze in this lighthearted account. She puts him to bed, sweeps away any allergens, and even brings him a toy to cuddle up with. She soon learns, though, that an elephant in bed can get bored, and what a lot of distracting he’ll need. In the end, and despite all her efforts, the elephant sneezes. “Oh dear. When your elephant has the sniffles, you just might end up with them too!” The companion volume, When Your Lion Needs a Bath, follows an olive-skinned child attempting to bathe a smelly lion. Sneakiness and an understanding of the lion’s disposition are the main ingredients in this equally lighthearted account. Simple, cartoonlike illustrations against mostly white backgrounds keep the focus on the main characters. The books hit just the right note for children in this age group, who are newly developing empathy and an understanding of others. Together with its companion, two humorous explorations of what it means to take care of a friend. (Board book. 2-4)