Zola's Elephant

by Randall de Seve and Pamela Zagarenski

A young girl has an abundance of reasons why she shouldn’t go visit the new... read more

A young girl has an abundance of reasons why she shouldn’t go visit the new girl, Zola, who moved in next door, even though their mothers have met and “decided we should be friends.” All of the reasons revolve around Zola’s elephant. The young narrator knows she has one, because she saw the big box. And she’s certain Zola and the elephant are far too busy together to want her company, because she’s heard them. Every scene the young girl imagines taking place with Zola and the elephant next door is followed by a wordless page spread showing a very different explanation for the sound, and a very lonely Zola. Finally, the narrator talks herself into, rather than out of, knocking on Zola’s door. “Okay, so maybe Zola doesn’t have an elephant. But do you know what she does have? A new friend.” Whimsical illustrations accompany a story grounded in very real social anxiety. (Ages 4–8)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2019

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