The second book in the Little Elliot series, the story opens with Elliot (a small, spotted elephant who lives in NYC) and his best friend and roommate Mouse waking to a lovely winter day. Mouse is in a rush; his family reunion is today, and he’s looking forward to seeing his two hundred-odd family members. Elliot sees him off, but immediately feels a bit lonely once his pal is gone. Going for a walk around the city doesn’t help much: everywhere he goes, he sees families spending time together. He even goes to see a movie, but is left in tears at the sight of an elephant family on the screen. Venturing back out into the snow, he is stopped by Mouse, who has missed him as well. Mouse invites Elliot to his family reunion, where everyone has a lovely time. And when the time comes to take the family portrait, the many mice find that there is plenty of room for a little elephant to squeeze in. After all, Elliot is family.
We have loved the Elliot books so far, which are sweet yet touching, and have a lovely, gentle innocence to the story and art. Elliot’s loneliness is so palpable through the text and illustrations, and readers would be hard-pressed to not sympathize with the sensitive little elephant. I also love that this is a book about found family, which is great for children whose families are not strictly biological. This is a story that children of blended families, adoption, or foster families might relate to, and that’s wonderful. The length is perfect, and JJ loved the “effent,” so this one is definitely Baby Bookworm approved!