Elephant News - started in Munich 2001

'Twenty-One Elephants and Still Standing by April Jones Prince
This well-researched, handsomely illustrated picture book captures the anticipation and uncertainties of those who witnessed the building of the Brooklyn Bridge. Focusing on Phineas T. Barnum of circus fame, who saw in the doubt an opportunity, Prince describes the pachyderm procession up Broadway, past City Hall, and over the bridge to Brooklyn. As viewers' and readers' excitement mounts, the author queries, How many pounds can the wondrous bridge hold? How many elephants are too great a load? After the successful spectacle, skeptics crossed fearlessly, and where did they go? Why, they went to the Big Top, of course! While many picture books have been written about this famous construction, this one is by far the best read-aloud. The sparse, yet powerful text contains both alliteration and occasional rhyme, making it a pleasure for readers and listeners alike. Roca's masterful paintings capture both the spirit of the times and of the expansive bridge, extending beyond the confines of the page to cover almost half of the adjacent one. Not to be confused with Phil Bildner's Twenty-One Elephants (S & S, 2004), which is wordier, more fictionalized, and visually less appealing, this title is ideal for units on local history and bridges.


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