Age Range: 2 to 5
Disclaimer! We don’t condone The slightly Annoying Elephant’s behaviour but he does make us laugh.
If you are looking for a story to teach your children about being polite you don’t want to introduce them to The slightly Annoying Elephant. He is very rude throughout the story and does absolutely nothing to redeem himself by the end. However, the elephant (who is more than ‘slightly’ annoying!) makes us laugh and there is a big surprise at the end of the story.
The Story: Sam opens the door to find that an elephant has travelled from Africa to live with him after he filled out an adopt an elephant form at the zoo. The elephant makes himself at home and after having a bath, eating dinner, watching TV and exercising he takes a nap. There is another knock at the door and Sam finds that the elephant’s friends have also come to stay. Sam reads the adoption form and realises that he should have read the small print.
Sam is stunned when the enormous, blue elephant turns up on his doorstep but he smiles and does everything that he can to be hospitable. The elephant doesn’t appreciate Sam’s efforts – he rudely hogs the television and breaks Sam’s new bicycle. By the end of the story Sam is stressed, the house is a mess and there are elephants everywhere.
Tony Ross’ amusing illustrations are bold and colourful and he has created wonderful scenes of utter chaos showing broken bannisters, flooding and crooked pictures on the wall. The elephant only has a small suitcase but it contains a variety of different hats and we love his exercise leg warmers (we’re not sure if the elephant brought his own slippers with him as the ones he wears only fit his big toe!). There are a variety of page layouts and the text is easy to read, I like the mix of fonts and font sizes used. The dialogue between Sam and the elephant moves the story along and the font size is larger when the elephant speaks to convey his loud voice. When he shouts it takes up almost whole pages and he often calls Sam a ‘silly boy’.
The slightly Annoying Elephant makes my daughter laugh although when we first read the story she was shocked by his behaviour. Although we would not accept the elephant’s rudeness in our house (and we feel a little bit sorry for Sam who is completely to blame for not reading the adoption form properly) we do find the story very entertaining.
The moral of the story – Always read the small print!
Author: David Walliams / Illustrator: Tony Ross