Elephant Island

Elephant Island
Leo Timmers
Gecko Press

As the result of a boisterous wave, seafarer Arnold elephant’s boat is destroyed. Hours later he reaches a tiny island upon which he lands and calls for help. There’s no response although his captain’s hat does float by, and with it back on his head, Arnold is able to spy a small ship in the distance. Said ship belongs to a mouse. Rescued at last – hurrah! But then …

Fortunately Arnold is familiar with a fair few knots, some of which he uses to effect, only to sabotage things when he steps aboard the next craft of a would-be rescuer. Once again it’s operation salvage as the pachyderm fashions an ever more unlikely intricate structure from the fragments, sufficiently large to accommodate everyone whose boat he’s inadvertently incapacitated.

It’s not long before Elephant Island (complete with waffle maker) becomes a ‘go to’ destination and thanks to Arnold’s welcoming attitude an ever expanding one.

Where will all this end?

Then another storm blows up; should everyone now go home, or not …

With a deliciously un-self aware, but hugely adept constructor as its main character and a splendidly silly story to star in, Leo Timmers’ illustrations steal the show. Every one is a testament to creative play and collaborative construction, increasingly full of wacky detail to pore over and giggle at. I can see Arnold’s tale becoming a storytime favourite.

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