Title: Elephantastic!

Author: Michael Engler

Illustrator: Joelle Tourlonias

Publisher: Peter Pauper Press

Year: 2014

(Word Count Unavailable)

Story Element #7 WORD PLAY I chose this book off the shelf because the title was intriguing and coincidentally a fun word! There are lots of ways that authors use word play in their writing. And, one of them is to create a new word which is immediately understood by the reader. Many times this is done by combining two known words into one. Sometimes, it’s a brand new word. 

In this story, Andrew only half listens to what his mother tells him about the package in the hall. When he’s finished drawing his treasure map, he notices the package that his mother was telling him about earlier. Thinking it must be for him, he opens it and immediately falls in love with a giant stuffed elephant named Timbo. Andrew could hardly believe his luck… a talking elephant. Timbo tells Andrew all about his adventures in Africa. Then Andrew and Timbo have some adventures of their own.

Andrew looked into the wild forest beyond and thought, ‘This is elephantastic!’

There is no confusion about what Andrew meant by ‘elephantastic’. The author combined two well known words to create a new one which describes Andrew’s feelings perfectly.

Just then, Andrew hears his mother calling. She finds him playing under the bed with Timbo. Oh, no! Mother realizes what has happened and explains to Andrew that the package was for Louise who lives upstairs. Andrew follows his mother upstairs and gives Timbo to Louise. She is overjoyed that her birthday present from her grandparents has finally arrived. Andrew runs back to his own apartment crying. At dinner, Andrew can’t eat. Just then the doorbell rings. It’s Louise and she’s holding Timbo. She tells Andrew that Timbo misses him. Andrew gives Timbo a hug and asks  Louise if she would like to go on an adventure with him.

Louise smiled and said, ‘That would be elephantastic!’

The story ends on the title word. What young reader would not want to use that new word in his/her next adventure? A wonderful way to express a common idea in an uncommon way! Try it yourself..



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15 Responses to “Elephantastic!”

  1. Linda E.H. February 28, 2015 at 6:02 PM #

    No doubt about it. This book sounds elephantastic. I bet a lot of kids would love to have a talking elephant.


  2. Christie Wright Wild February 22, 2015 at 12:57 AM #

    Yes, the title alone simply screams Word Play. Love it!


    • Juliana Lee February 22, 2015 at 10:30 AM #

      And, I liked that it wasn’t every other word in the text, just that one word two times. I think that gives it more power.


  3. lauraboffa February 21, 2015 at 9:09 AM #

    I try not to judge a book by its cover… but in the end that’s just about always how I decide which books to read! I love the title and cover art on this one, too, and it seems like a sweet story to boot.


    • Juliana Lee February 21, 2015 at 9:50 AM #

      Me too, Laura! I freely admit it. Just as I freely admit I love ice cream! 🙂


      • lauraboffa February 21, 2015 at 11:04 AM #

        I would never NOT admit to loving ice cream! Better to embrace, huh… 🙂


  4. Joyce Tucker February 20, 2015 at 6:04 PM #

    Great book for having chosen it for the title. You found a treasure. Thanks Juliana.


    • Juliana Lee February 20, 2015 at 7:22 PM #

      Thanks, it is a treasure. I often chose books by their cover… title, artwork, and author/illustrators I admire.


  5. thelogonauts February 20, 2015 at 1:00 PM #

    That sounds so precious. Love the lesson on sharing and giving too!


    • Juliana Lee February 20, 2015 at 2:36 PM #

      Yes, I agree. It’s elephantastic that Timbo brings the two kids together!


  6. SevenAcreSky February 20, 2015 at 11:33 AM #

    Yes, like Manju said, this is nicely wrapped by the title. Kids love the play on words and this sounds like a wonderful book. Thanks Juliana for the review.


    • Juliana Lee February 20, 2015 at 2:33 PM #

      Yes, the title drew me in right away. I had high expectations for the book, and was not disappointed!


  7. ManjuBeth February 20, 2015 at 10:14 AM #

    I love how everything about this PB is tied together by the title. Cute cover art too!


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