Metro Elephant: Little Elliot Big City by Mike Curato
LITTLE ELLIOT LOVED LIVING IN A BIG CITY, BUT SOMETIMES IT WAS HARD BEING SMALL IN SUCH A SMALL PLACE.
HE HAD TO BE CAREFUL NOT TO GET STEPPED ON ON THE SUBWAY PLATFORM.
STILL, ELLIOT ENJOYED THE LITTLE THINGS.
It's not easy being a very small spotted elephant in the Big Apple. But Little Elliot takes pleasure in his snug little home, the excitement of the skyscrapers and the thronging sidewalks, and his daily strolls, looking at the wonderful things in the windows downtown. He bravely takes the subway even though he's only knee high to all the people in the crowd.
But Elliot's greatest longing is to have one of those glorious cupcakes in the bakery window. And though he holds his money high in his trunk and jumps up as high as he can, the counterman never notices him among the crowd buying pastries.
But then one day he meets someone who is smaller, much smaller than he is.
"HELLO, MOUSE. WHAT'S WRONG?" ASKED ELLIOT.
"I'M TRYING TO REACH SOME FOOD, BUT I'M TOO SMALL!" SAID MOUSE. "AND I'M SO VERY HUNGRY!"
Suddenly Elliot sees a small ally in the solution to his cupcake problem, in Mike Curato's fantasy story of friendship in the big city, Little Elliot, Big City (Henry Holt and Company, 2014). Elliot is a small polka-dotted toy elephant who goes surprisingly unnoticed in the hubbub of big city streets. Observing the metro scene is the chief charm of this book. Curato's big city has been aptly compared to Edward Hopper's cityscapes, and his muted palette and his portrayal of a small toy elephant, with the body language of a toddler, roaming a retro metropolis, provides a Paddington sort of charm to this old-fashioned story. The author pictures Elliot devising ways to reach the sink in his apartment, making his miniature way down to the sidewalk from his brownstone home, and, like a kid in a candy shop, admiring the goodies in his neighborhood bakery, al in delightful illustrations which create a warm and cozy ambiance to set off Curato's sweet story of friendship found (and cupcake shared).