written and illustrated by Kit Chase
published 2014, by G.P. Putnam’s Sons, an imprint of PenguinI’ve always had a soft spot for elephants, ever since I had a sweet stuffed one as a kid. He played ‘You Are My Sunshine,’ so of course, Sunshine was his name. And I don’t know who I’m kidding with the kid thing, cause Sunshine still lives with me. He’s a dear.
And lately, I’ve had a tender thing towards trees and how much they give us. Some are big enough to hug, and some snap at the landing of a songbird. All are homes. Add a little Beatrix Potter-esque art, and a story that stays endearing without dipping into the saccharine side, and I’m completely charmed. The dust jacket says it best: ‘there’s a reason we don’t see elephants in trees.’
I love this elephant, Oliver. I love that when all he sees is despair, he takes a nap. Spectacular coping skill, Oliver! Thank goodness that his friends aren’t defeated, and they get to work searching and gathering. I’m adding the spread below to my inner rolodex of perfect picture book spreads. The words and the illustrations balance each other and don’t compete for attention. It slows down the action, builds suspense, and gives the reader a chance to predict what happens on the other side of the page turn. And the twig frames are just plain lovely. So: pretty perfect.I hope this isn’t the only story Kit Chase is brewing with Oliver, Charlie, and Lulu. I feel like they have a lot to say and share.
Want to see more of her art? A dash of dear and a pinch of perfect? All of the pieces below are in her Etsy shop, trafalgar’s square. Huge thanks to Kit for sharing these with us!
Review copy provided by G.P. Putnam’s Sons.