Monday, August 18, 2014

The Memory of an Elephant by Sophie Strady and Jean-Francois Martin (Chronicle Children's Books)

The Memory of an Elephant

Written by Sophie Strady

Illustrated by Jean Francois Martin

Published by Chronicle Books

Wow! What a fantastic treat this book is. Translated from the original French, and now available in many other languages (including English and Welsh!) is "The Memory of an Elephant" by Sophie Strady and Jean-Francois Martin.

Taking us through a day in the life of Marcel, a hip and cool elephant with a ton of charm, it's more than just a children's story - it's an exquisitely detailed homage to modern (and not so modern) life.

Marcel's hip and cool wardrobe. Love the tattoo too!

As Marcel's story unfolds, we learn that he's compiling an encyclopaedia - and with his capacious memory, Marcel trawls his immediate surroundings for material for his book.

What we loved most about this book was the attention to detail both in story and in the glorious illustrations. The story positively invites comment and curiosity from your little ones, who will love Marcel instantly - but also love the things he loves too. All aspects of culture and civilisation are examined in brilliant break-out spreads that tell us all about the history and evolution of some of the objects we might find dotted around our own houses.

My favourite illustrative spread in the book. I want all of these!
So it's a fab and original story, coupled with awesome historical and cultural references in an elephant-sized hardback that your children are absolutely going to love coming back to again and again. Hooray for Marcel!

Charlotte's best bit: Her favourite bit was Marcel's wardrobe (and wondering why an elephant would want a feather boa!) Also finding out what Elephants are really scared of (it's not mice!)

Daddy's Favourite bit: A glorious book full of brilliant little details and cooler than cool cultural and historical references. This is utterly fantastic!

(Kindly sent to us for review by Chronicle Books)

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