“Little Elliot, Big Fun” by Mike Curato is the kind of picture book that kids will love to read again and again. They will learn the words and read along with the adults. It’s about the two friends — Little Elliot, a pastel-spotted elephant and his best friend Mouse — when they go to the boardwalk to have fun.
Little Elliot is frightened of the rides because they are too wet, too dizzy or too fast. A seagull eats his ice cream and a clown scares him. He runs away from those dangers but gets more and more frightened by the funhouse mirrors. Finally Mouse helps find rides that are more suited to Little Elliot and they enjoy the rest of the day.
The best part of the day, they realize, is that they are together. It’s a great lesson for young readers — that doing something together can be much more fun than doing it alone.
The illustrations are beautiful. Curato creates pictures and people from the 1940’s. The men and many women wear hats. The colors are bright but also subtle. The fold-out spread of the view from the ferris wheel is spectacular. The message is wonderful.
Kids will love this one and probably want the other books in the “Little Elliot” series. Go get ’em!
Please note: This review is based on the final, hardcover book provided by the publisher for review purposes.