Ross Collins is a prolific illustrator (and author) of picture books, chapter books and novels for kids. His newest picture book, The Elephantom, is a huge hit in the U.K. and it's been adapted into a play by the Royal National Theater that's also a huge hit! After reading The Elephantom, I can see why.
The narrator of The Elephantom, a very cute little girl - Collins has a way with how he draws kids that is quite adorable - begins the story by telling reader she has an elephantom who showed up one Tuesday after dinner and, "to be honest, he's starting to bug me." A phantom elephant in your house might seem like fun, unless he's the kind of elephantom who rides a scooter up the stairs at night and eats all the peanut butter, forcing your mom to make spinach sandwiches. Even worse, on Friday's the elephantom has his friends over.
When the smell of the elephantom dung gets to be too much, the narrator turns to grandma for help. After all, "she has lots of ghost pets," including a ghost fish who floats outside of his bowl. Grandma hands her a card for Specrtral & Son "Purveyors of Oddities." It takes "four hours and thirty-seven minutes" but the shop is quite a sight - I wish I had that illustration to share.
But you do get to see the charming Mr. Spectral and the inside of his shop. He has just the solution for evicting elephantoms! The ending of The Elephantom is perfect, with a great little twist. Collin's illustrations are a balance of other worldly floatiness and detailed bundles of color. There is always something fun to seek out, especially when Grandma is on the scene. The Elephantom is a very, very fun book and I hope that the play version makes it to America sometime soon!
Source: Review Copy