Having read the title several times before opening the cover, I had a pre-conceived idea that this book was going to be a story of cute elephants, without any substance, purely with a play on words, causing the reader constant difficulty in reading their tongue-twister names.
I was therefore very pleasantly surprised that the story was actually quite meaty and was about a very special relationship between a wise old matriarch and her great-granddaughter. It’s not the usual relationship you read about in picture books though, as this narrative goes much deeper than just generations sharing stories together. As the older elephant begins to lose her memory, it is up to the youngest of the herd to share what she has learned from her kind elderly ancestor and use family traditions to ensure the survival of the group. The reader gets so emotionally involved that as the great-grandmother has a tear rolling down her face, the reader is likely to also.
There is a great combination of descriptive language used in the story; both sophisticated (veldt, migration and lumbered) and childlike (trunk tag and tummy slide). Together they ensure the reader experiences enjoyment, empathy, anticipation and sadness.
The simple, yet expressive, illustrations will appeal to both young and old alike.
This is a great story to share, especially with children who are witnessing a relative going through memory loss and dementia.
Title: Trompet and Trumbone
Author: Ali Foster
Illustrator: Martin Bailey
Publisher: Duck Creek Press
ISBN: Hardback 978-1-927305-54-6, Paperback 978-1-927305-55-3
RRP: Hardback $29.99 and Paperback $19.99
Date of Publication: May 2019
Reviewer’s name: Nadine Molloy, Library Assistant
Reviewer’s School name: Remarkables Primary School
How highly are you recommending this book? Highly recommended
What’s the book’s opening sentence? One still, starry African dawning, in the heart of the wide, wild savanna, a little grey elephant was born.
You can buy this book here