The Memory of an Elephant

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review

The Memory of an Elephant: An Unforgettable Journey isan elephant-sized picture book which packs in a huge amount of information from everything on fashionable hats to French horns. Gentlemanly elephant Marcel is our guide for the day. But today is no ordinary day. A visit from a little friend provokes a trip through the landmarks of Marcel's memories that have made up his extraordinary life.

Facts and figures pop-up on every page with elephant-related novelties a recurring theme - how many stacked elephants would match the world's tallest skyscraper (237). Why some elephants' tusks are more worn on one side than the other (they're left-handed, like Paul McCartney!). As well as some more random seeming facts regarding the world's first submarine and the sacred Chinese Gingko Biloba plant! Marcel's compiling an encyclopaedia and his own life has been full of wonderful adventures to draw upon for his research.

This strange book is bewilderingly beautiful and instantly desirable. The retro colour palettes and mid-century furniture throughout should impress those with an eye for art and design while the mixture of fact and fiction could intrigue a reluctant reader. The Memory of an Elephant is a bibliophile's book and surely one of the most unusual picture books of the year. Marcel's marvellous book will be a real conversation piece.

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