For my new job, all the librarians write a maximum 150 word review of a new book that came into the library during the month. I’ll be adding my contribution to the blog in a new feature I’m calling To the Point Tuesdays. If you want to play along, just post a link in the comments and I’ll add them to the post.
“I have an elephant,” Tua said, ignoring the question. Then she began to relate the story of how she had rescued an elephant from a pair of rogues who were mistreating it, how they had stolen money from a poor woman and her baby, and what else was she to do?
“That’s nice, darling,” Auntie Orchid yawned. “Every girl should have a ‘special friend.'” The yawn reminded Orchid that it was quite late after all.
“Kha, Auntie. Can I show it to you?” [...]
“Yes, you may,” said Auntie Orchid “if you must.”
Tua opened the door and gestured with her head for her auntie to look outside. [...]
“Tua, darling,” she calmly asked, “would you please tell me why . . . there is an elephant standing on MY . . . back . . . porch?”(45-46)
In this debut tale of courage and tenacity where Homeward Bound meets Dumbo, ten-year-old Tua is visiting the night market in her town of Chiang Mai, Thailand. Running across a baby elephant clearly in need of rescuing from her abusive and questionable owners, Tua whisks the elephant away into the night while they are sleeping. Naming her Pohn-Pohn, clever Tua reasonably rationalizes that “Taking an elephant home was definitely out of the question.” But what should Tua do with her? So beings an incredible journey across rivers and Thailand farms, in search of a home for the elephant. The purple and yellow illustrations emphasize how out-of-place poor Pohn-Pohn is in the populated yellow fields of rice and corn. But Pohn-Pohn’s previous owners are intent on getting their valuable possession back, using whatever means necessary.
If you want to read a longer synopsis of the book, it was reviewed in the New York Times by none other Sara Gruen, author of her own elephant based book Water for Elephants.