Reading/Interest Level: Preschool, Primary
Author: Randall de Seve
Illustrator: Pamel Zagarenski
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
A girl has a new neighbor named Zola. There was a big box and now there is a lot of noise—could Zola be playing with an elephant? Are they taking a bath? Are they building a fort? The girl’s imagination runs wild, until the following day when she knocks on the door next to her own. She does not find an elephant. What she does find is something much better—a new friend.
The beauty of the book and of the illustrations defies description. Beautiful, enchanting, and touched with magic still fall a little short. The story is also very nice, but the illustrations are impossible not to love and revel in. The no-name little girl obviously has a flair for imagination and an affection for circuses. Her musings as she ponders the sounds that she hears are delightfully far-fetched, and she provides her evidence for each supposition she presents. Smile your way through this book, but make sure you read it!