Chill! A Mammoth in the Fridge by Michael Escoffier
"DAD! DAD! THERE'S A MAMMOTH IN THE FRIDGE!"
"DON'T BE SILLY, NOAH. COME AND EAT YOUR FRIES."
Well, if there were a mammoth in your house, where else would he be?
Noah is excited; his little sister Elsa looks stricken, and Dad is clearly annoyed with the interruption. So Mom takes charge and calls the fire department and the firemen take this unusual sortie in their stride.
"WE'RE HERE FOR THE MAMMOTH, MA'AM!" they say, their capture nets at the ready.
The mammoth decides it's time to leave his cool hiding place and runs outside, down the street, and climbs into the top of a nearby tree. The fireman, the family, and an array of curious neighbors gather around underneath.
No one seems to have a plan for retrieving a mammoth from a tree. They wait... and wait... and wait. Finally, the crew chief decides that mammoth hunting is really not in their job description.
"HUH! WE COULD BE HERE ALL FALL.The mammoth falls asleep in the treetop, and everyone goes about their daily routine. But when night falls and all the lights are out, little Elsa steals out the door.
SORRY GUYS. WE'VE GOT TO GO."
"COME ON. IT'S NOT OUR PROBLEM," Dad agrees.
"HERE, KITTY, KITTY! COME ON!
LOOK AT THESE YUMMY CARROTS!"
Whose mammoth this is is not in doubt, in Michael Escoffier's A Mammoth in the Fridge (Gecko Press Titles) (Gecko Press, 2013), as Elsa shushes her pet and stealthily leads him upstairs to her room, hangs a sign on the doorknob (ELSA'S ROOM DO NOT ENTER), and with a last warning to her wayward mammoth, climbs into bed, surrounded by her secret menagerie, a unicorn, a dinosaur, and a sea monster, all curled up on her bedside rug. With retro cartoon illustrations by artist Matthieu Maudet, in wavy blackline and flat primary colors, this tale will remind former kids of the jolly fantasy of Syd Hoff's classic Danny and the Dinosaur stories. Add in the fun of putting a big one over on the parents and this old-fashioned story has a lot of appeal to modern kids. Chill out with this one along with Eric Barclay's recent Hiding Phil, for a couple of far-fetched pet fantasies (see my review here).