By Author / Illustrator
Ashley King, Sylvia Bishop
Paperback / softback
When Erica Perkins wakes up on the morning of her tenth birthday, the last thing she expects is to find a very confused elephant sitting on her doorstep. So begins an unlikely friendship. But can a small girl and a rather large elephant learn to live together in a tiny terraced house? And when the dastardly owner of the local zoo plots to steal the elephant, will Erica be able to outsmart him?
What would you do if you found an elephant on your doorstep together with a piece of paper giving you the legal right to keep it? This is the situation facing Erica in this gem of a book written for the 8+ age group, one which it is so difficult to find a variety of reading material for. This is Sylvia Bishop's first book, and marks a really good debut. Erica's guardian, Uncle Jeff is overseas and she is managing by herself, with 30 pounds and 42p, which is not much on which to feed an elephant! Erica, however, is a resourceful girl and works out a way to earn money giving elephant rides. She does encounter opposition to keeping the elephant which is not from the person she thinks, and a plan to move the elephant to the local zoo is magnificently countered by Erica and her elephant. Erica is the most resourceful heroine, and the endearing elephant with his bad knee and a diet of cabbages will worm his way into the hardest of hearts. The denouement is so clever, based on the fact that elephant voices can be heard for six miles, but a solution to feeding and looking after an elephant has to be found, completely satisfying the reader! This is a fantasy in the mould of 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea' and many other stories, beautifully written with such a light touch, and does deserve to be read for many years to come. 160 pages / Ages 8+ / Reviewed by Janet Fisher, consultant
Suggested Reading Age 7+