Thursday, June 15, 2017

Ella WHO? by Linda Ashman and Sara Sanchez

The movers left the door wide open. 
That's probably how she got in. 

They were lugging furniture and stacking boxes - LOTS of boxes. 
That's probably why no one noticed her. 

In Ella Who?, when a little girl discovers a baby elephant in her house, she tries to tell her mother and then her father, then her grandmother. But, either they can't hear (Dad over the sound of the shower he's repairing, Grandma over the vacuum cleaner) or they're not listening (Mom, busy directing the movers). "Ella WHO?" they all say. Mom assumes Ella is the little girl next door.

The little girl and the elephant eat cookies, check on the baby, play dress-up, have tea, and read books. But, the elephant longs to go outside. So, out they go and they have a great time, although the elephant is not so hot at hide and seek and the seesaw doesn't quite work when one youngster is so much heavier than the other.

After she builds a tent, a man shows up to ask if anyone has seen a small elephant. The little girl is busy inside the tent but when she sees the flyer about a missing elephant, she does a test. The missing elephant loves apples and hates green beans, according to the flyer. Sure enough, her new friend the baby elephant eats all the apples and leaves the green beans behind. She calls the number and sadly says goodbye. But, it's likely a lot more animals will be showing up. There's an animal sanctuary behind the new house!

Recommended - I thought Ella WHO? was a fun read with one slight annoyance: I didn't particularly like the repetition of the words "Ella WHO?" throughout. But, the mistaken understanding is the focal point of the book - nobody else gets that the little girl is saying "elephant". And, anyway, that was the only thing I disliked. The illustrations are adorable, brightly colored on a solid white background with delightfully expressive faces. And, I love the way the little girl simply goes about her business, entertaining a small elephant as if it's no big deal. I love a book with an unflappable little heroine. The fact that there's an animal sanctuary behind the little girl's house and a babboon shows up in the last spread ("Babette who?" someone says from inside the house) brings this cute story full circle.

©2017 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery  or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.


  1. What a cute book! I know a little person who would love it!

    1. Yay! It is super cute. Wish the little person in our family lived closer.

  2. Looks. Cute. I like the pattern of plants on the cover. Must see if the library has this one, to share with my six-year-old

    1. The cover is a good example of what the illustrations look like. It's got a nice, airy feel, visually. Hope you're able to find it and your 6-year-old enjoys it!


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