Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve
Each of its 28 pages is certain not just to raise a smile, but lots of laughter.
The combination of the hilarious rhyming text and illustrations that are beyond amusing makes You Can’t Let an Elephant Drive a Racing Car an irresistible book for young readers. In fact, it is bound to entertain adults as well. Being read aloud with dramatic verve would be ideal in order to fully appreciate the clever language.
In sizeable format, its exuberant pictures show a variety of comical possibilities… There is a pole-vaulting hippo, a table-tennis playing octopus and a warthog involved in football.
This collection of animals invades sports of various types and chaos mixed with outrageous fun follows. The monkey gymnasts are impressive and actually score a perfect 10 – but no medal. A walrus creates havoc on the Tour de France, or some such international bike race, and the kangaroo plays an unorthodox stroke in cricket.
Patricia Cleveland-Peck has published many books, five in the Elephant series. This one is indicative of the reason her work is enjoyed so much. The text is not only amusing, it includes some comforting advice in the most appealing way.
In the end of all the antics, the animals group and realise no one has won a medal; but the important thing is to try to do their best.
After their hectic and enthusiastic attempts at the various sports, there is, instead of the ice-bath, a warm foaming bubble bath!
The wildly exuberant drawings of David Tazzyman are a delight and enhance the saga of these animals striving for what is, for them, the impossible. Nevertheless, all of them are eager to have maximum fun!
The author writes her books for her young granddaughter who, without a doubt, will applaud this one, as will so many others around the world.
You Can’t Let an Elephant Drive a Racing Car
by Patricia Cleveland-Peck
illustrated by David Tazzyman
ISBN 978 152663 540 2