Patricia Polacco has written and illustrated dozens of picture books for young readers. She knows just how to make an adorable story, one that will make readers smile and occasionally say, “Aww!” Here, she does it again as anyone looking at the cover will inevitably smile and pick it up because, after all, how can you not love the idea of getting a cozy hug by an elephant?
Emma Kate brings readers two lovable characters; a young girl and a delightful elephant. The two do everything together. They go to school. They eat lunch. They do their homework together. They visit each other’s houses. They even get their tonsils taken out and eat up tons of delicious pink ice cream! However, there is much more to this story than meets the eye. One of these characters is an imaginary friend, but young readers will not find out who until they reach the end for a fun and surprising little twist!
Polacco can create stories with more serious overtones, dealing with diversity and cultural backgrounds, but with Emma Kate she reminds her fans that she knows just as well how to create a giggle-worthy tale. Readers will have a great time watching the big gray elephant try to squeeze through not-so-large doors and sit on the sofa, only to squash it flat! Putting an elephant into everyday situations is bound to have a high fun factor, and Polacco hits that spot just right.
The illustrations by Patricia Polacco really add to the story. She uses only a simple style without a lot of background, focusing mainly on the girl and the elephant. The little girl pops brightly in her bold red dress and turquoise shoes while the elephant is a rather realistic rendition as opposed to a cartoon style. Cross hatching gives the elephant shading as well as showing off the way an elephant’s skin actually tends to look, and Polacco makes sure to put the trunk to good use (like hugs!).
Written for ages 3 and up, it’s a story that parents will have a good time reading to kids, and one that kids will love for years to come.