I saw this challenge on Emlyn Chand's website and loved it.
Once upon a time I would write books, but not read them. I was a cocky kid now that I think about it. I remember reading Goosebumps in fourth grade and thinking, "I can write better stuff than this". Funny enough, I love Goosebumps now for the same reason I hated them as a kid: because they're so cheesy and predictable.
The point is:
Novel Publicity is running a challenge where the participants read one book a month that they loved from their youth.
But No Elephants! by Jerry Smath.
I don't know why I loved this book so much. Maybe it's just because I love elephants. Or maybe I love elephants because of this book.
As I read this book to my preschoolers. I couldn't help but giggle at how ridiculous it is. A traveling animal sales man manages to sell his animals off one at a time to a lonely old lady. Each animal proves useful in helping the woman prepare for the winter. Every time the sales man returns, the lady agrees to buy an animal with the stipulation, "But no elephants!".
Eventually the sales man pulls a douche bag move and leaves the elephant on the old lady's property because he's taking off and doesn't want to bring back the merchandise. Winter comes, the elephant sits outside the old lady's house and bawls his brains out until the lady lets him into her house.
The end point of this book is that the elephant walks the house to a nice warm spot and they all live happily ever after. It's supposed to teach that the elephant was useful in his own way and everyone has something to offer or some sappy feel good about yourself type message.
What gave the giggles about this book is the reason why the elephant had to walk the house to the nice warm place. The frickin' elephant breaks the floor of the house, letting all the cold in, and then eats all the food that the lady and the animals had worked so hard to store up for the winter. So everyone is freezing and hungry, but can't leave the house to get food because of the harsh winter.
Mr. Elephant, you're a jerk. The old lady was totally justified in not wanting you in her house. That's the point the adults can take away from this book.
However, if you're five this book is flipping awesome. There's an elephant in a house. That's really all you need at that age.
All mockery aside, I still love this book. It's way cute and children's books are supposed to be outlandish. That's the joy of kids books. A child's imagination is boundless and their literature should speak to that level of crazy.
Speaking of children's large imaginations, the Harold and the Purple Crayon series pictured in the badge is an adorable series. Got to give a shout out to that.
What books did you love as a child?