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by Ed Young

illustrated by Ed Young


School Library Journal:

/* Starred Review */ A many-talented illustrator (Lon Po Po, 1989, Caldecott Medal) uses a new medium–collage–in an innovative reworking of “The Blind Men and the Elephant,” with splendid results: a book that casually rehearses the days of the week, numbers (ordinal and cardinal), and colors while memorably explicating and extending the theme: “Knowing in part may make a fine tale, but wisdom comes from seeing the whole.” The mice (first seen as an intriguing row of bright tails on the elegantly spare black title spread) are the colors of the rainbow plus white; they, the white text, and the parts of the elephant (as they really are and as the mice imagine them) are superimposed on a dramatic black ground. The real elephant is skillfully composed with textured and crumpled paper in gentle earth tones; in a sly philosophical twist, the form each mouse imagines is the color of the mouse: e.g., Green Mouse says the trunk is a snake, shown as green. On Sunday, White Mouse (the only female) runs over the entire elephant, getting the others to join her; now, at last, with her help, they all understand the whole. Exquisitely crafted: a simple, gracefully honed text, an appealing story, real but unobtrusive values and levels of meaning, and outstanding illustrations and design–all add up to a perfect book . (Kirkus Reviews, March 15, 1992)


  • ALA Notable Children’s Books: 1993
  • Boston Globe-Horn Book  Awards: Picture Book



1st Grade, 2nd Grade, Ages 0-8, Animals