Elephant Wellyphant is not my usual literary fare. I don't make a habit of hanging around in the children's section, but as a librarian, wandering in occasionally is an occupational hazard. I was shown a copy of Elephant Wellyphant by a colleague a few days ago and it blew my mind. This book takes one joke and mercilessly beats you around the head with it. There is no escape.
The title explains the main premise. It introduces the notion of an elephant and then proceeds to impart variations upon this theme. Wellyphant for example is an elephant in wellies. The deviation from the original concept of elephant grows as the book progresses, slowly testing ones facility to trust in these improbable elephantile occupations. The ordering is magnificent, and the flow is unbroken. I'd love to splurge out more examples of the humour of this book, but it would be a crime to impart any more as every page and every word is dynamite.
The hard hitting, straight to the point text is complemented with the glaring, over the top illustrations. Every elephant is rendered in bold colours leaving no room for analysis or interpretation beyond the very obvious. The total effect is like staring at the sun for too long, the incandescent brightness is blinding as every joke strikes home.
The magical purity of Elephant Wellyphant is no doubt lost on children, but not on me Nick Sharratt, not on me.