Friday, January 14, 2022

Review - Sharon, Lois & Bram's One Elephant Went Out to Play

Sharon, Lois & Bram's One Elephant Went Out to Play

by Sharon Hampson, Lois Lilienstein, Bram Morrison & Randi Hampson
illustrated by Qin Leng
Date: 2022
Publisher: Tundra Books (NY)
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

From the creators of Skinnamarink comes another picture book based on the classic counting song made famous by this beloved trio of children's entertainers.

One elephant went out to play upon a spider's web one day.
She had such enormous fun, that she called for her baby elephant to come.

Sharon, Lois and Bram invite readers to join them in a musical story about a magical spider web. Jungle animals and kids in costume join in the fun on the web, including a glamorous giraffe, a cranky crocodile, a silly, smiley snake and five monkeys. After the 10th animal is invited onto the web, EVERYONE is invited to the party -- but is the web strong enough?

Through Qin Leng's wonderfully whimsical illustrations, this delightful picture book tells the story of a diverse group of children coming together in play and song.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

Ah, the nostalgia. Growing up in the '80s in Canada, we got our fill of Sharon, Lois & Bram. I remember this particular song well. So well, in fact, that I kept remembering the original words as I was reading the book. No matter. This is a lovely picture-book adaptation of one of the trio's famous songs, charmingly illustrated by Qin Leng. Sharon, Lois, Bram, and a diverse group of friends (including an elephant) take a walk through a jungle. They meet a friendly spider who spins a curiously strong web and then invites all her new friends to play in it. Things are going great, and the spider dutifully counts each new playmate as they're added (five monkeys get added at once, so the book isn't too long), but then... there's just one new friend too many. But it's all good; even failure is fun here, and there's a promise of more play to come.

The illustrations are really cute, and show a great variety of kids. There's even a child in a wheelchair who somehow manages to join everyone else in the web (hey, it's fiction). The sense of fun and play is really on display here.

Adult fans of Sharon, Lois & Bram will probably love this, especially since it's a potentially great introduction to the trio for their own kids (or grandkids). Also be sure to check out Sharon, Lois & Bram's Skinnamarink, which came out in 2019; it's based on another of their songs, expanded for the purposes of the picture book, and also completely adorable.

Thank you to NetGalley and Tundra Books for providing a digital ARC.

Premise: 5/5
Meter: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 5/5

Overall: 4.71 out of 5

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