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“Half of an Elephant” by Gusti

on May 5, 2011

In celebration of Cinco de Mayo, I’d like to share a Kane Miller book from Mexico that my daughter and I really enjoy. Half of an Elephant by Gusti is a fun book with illustrations made of found objects like washers and springs and rusty metal – even sliced bread!

The book begins with the world suddenly splitting in two and the front half of an elephant goes searching for his other half. Soon he realizes that many other animals are in the same predicament and the elephant attempts to join with the other animal halves he meets – unfortunately without much success. Finally he looks on the bright side and realizes there are benefits to his new situation, such as not having an itchy tail because he doesn’t have a tail.

Meanwhile, on the other half of the world, the elephant’s back half is busy joining with other animal halves in an attempt to become whole. One such mismatch involves half of a monkey, but the elephant’s rear is too heavy for the monkey to jump from tree to tree so that does not work out. Eventually the world joins back together and the two elephant halves are reunited, but not in a way you’d expect. This book celebrates differences, reinvention, and self-acceptance. We love the charming and creative illustrations and there is one page in particular that is made up of a jumble of animal halves – fun and a little challenging to try to match them!

See more reviews at Usborne Books & More. ¬°Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

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