Mrs Bibi's Elephant
Publisher: Flying Eye Books
Elderly Mrs Bibi has a large, grey pet elephant that she takes for a walk every day. They play with local children, enjoy afternoon tea and at night Mrs Bibi tells the elephant stories. Yet, the rather materialistic, money-obsessed townspeople don’t like Mrs Bibi’s elephant at all and think she should be spending her time following the stock market. Worse, they make such a fuss that the town judge orders Mrs Bibi’s elephant to be put into the local zoo.
Yet when Mrs Bibi and her elephant disappear, the townspeople realise that their town isn’t nearly as happy as it was, and so, inspired by Mrs Bibi, they make a plan to make it full of joy and colour again.
Reza Dalvand’s book is a stunning work of remarkable colour and verve which feels fresh, stylish and sophisticated. The message - that the places we live aren’t just about business and commerce, but happiness, animals and friendships too - reminds us that we need a balance of everything and everyone in our communities, including our wise elders. There isn’t that much text, but an older reader will be able to pick up both the sophisticated style of the illustration and all the lovely detail and reflect on the book’s more profound message.