Anthony Browne, Ernest the Elephant, Walker Books, May 2021, 32 pp., RRP $27.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781406395099
Like many young children, Ernest is a bit of an adventurer and when there’s an opportunity to explore the jungle, he seizes it. And promptly becomes lost.
The slightly surrealist colourful illustrations provide an added bonus for kids. Liquorice all-sorts, soccer balls and lollypops can be spotted in this jungle, along with the usual assortment of foreboding plants and trees.
While Ernest, enjoys the experience of the ‘little bit frightening’ jungle, it wears off when he becomes lost. The other, much larger, animals are not interested in helping him out. Guidance is provided by an unlikely helper and Ernest is finally reunited with his mum.
A familiar and reassuring tale for young children, the story could be used to discuss stranger-danger, the problems of wandering off and what kind of animals you might find in the jungle.
Reviewed by Heather Gallagher