Ollie the Purple Elephant

What It Is

Mr. McLaughlin tells his children that should they ever come across a purple elephant, they could keep him. Of course, the children, Peter and Shelby, find such a creature in the park and bring him home. Ollie fits in beautifully with the family and their activities, especially on hot days when he cools down the kids and their friends with his water-spouting trunk. Everyone loves Ollie, except for Ginger, the McLaughlin’s cat, and Mr. Puddlebottom, the man who lives in the apartment below. Ginger and Mr. Puddlebottom create a scheme that sends Ollie away with the circus. One year later, when the circus comes back to town, their evil plot is uncovered and Mr. Puddlebottom is sent to jail. In a fun twist, Ollie moves into Mr. Puddlebottom’s apartment along with Leon and Zoe, his lion and monkey friends from the circus.

Why It’s Fun

Jarrett Krosoczka has written and illustrated a heartwarming story about friendship and family. The fantasy of having an elephant, let alone a purple one, is such fun for the kids and makes for a great tale. We enjoyed the vibrant pictures, which are printed with a matte finish giving the book an extra-special feel. The illustrations are so great, they are fun to look at even without reading the story. Make sure to take note of Mrs. McLaughlin’s face when the kids meet Ollie in the park. She’s not too happy with her husband!

Who’s Going To Love It

The publisher’s recommended age starts at five, but I think children as young as three would enjoy this one, if they can sit still long enough because it is longer than the average picture book. My girls are seven and nine, and sat still as a mouse throughout the entire story ... twice! Ollie would make a great gift, classroom read or selection from the library. Hopefully, we’ll see more of Ollie in future adventures.

Reading Time

About 5 minutes

Read-It-Again Points

10 out of 10

Book Information

Written and Illustrated by: Jarrett J. Krosoczka
Published by: Alfred A. Knopf (2011)
Approximate retail price: $16.99 (hardcover), $10.99 (E-book)
Publisher’s recommended ages: 5-8


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