'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Wednesday 12 January 2022

Review: The Boy and the Elephant

A quiet boy who doesn’t fit in has a busy family that doesn’t always see him. He finds solace in the patch of trees beside his home where he imagines up a new friend — an elephant. 

But when progress can't be stopped, and workers come to cut down the trees, the boy does something amazing to save his friend.

This story is filled with emotion and power. It pulls at your heart and makes you think and smile with wonder. And there's not a single word on the pages.

Award-winning illustrator Freya Blackwood brings the world something exquisite in this wordless picture book. Each spread tells a story in itself but also adds to the bigger narrative of the book.

What this provides readers is a unique experience to travel alone or with others, because the story I see might be different to the story you see, and that is something truly magical. And the ending is… unforgettable, but I’ll say no more about that because its power lies in experiencing it for yourself.

I first explored this book with my six-year-old daughter, who adores wordless picture books (and often brings them to class to share). As I devoured Blackwood’s stunning illustrations in my mind, I asked my daughter what she saw.

Often, we saw a similar story (though not always), but we always noticed different details and my daughter’s interpretation of the boy’s expressions and feelings opened my eyes to how she sees the world. It was a wonderful experience to share, and I highly recommend you grab a copy a of this book and do the same.

The Boy and the Elephant
is more than special. It’s powerful and unique.

Wordless picture books are not easy to deliver, but Blackwood shows us how it should be done, giving the world images that will imprint a story in your mind and never be forgotten.

To have your mind blown even more by Freya Blackwood's stunning creations, make sure you check out The Unwilling Twin, The Tiny Star and Molly and Mae

Title: The Boy and the Elephant
Author/Illustrator:  Freya Blackwood
Publisher: HarperCollins, $24.99
Publication Date: 3 November 2021
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781460759998
For ages: 3+
Type: Picture Book