Little Elliot, Big City

New York City is hard enough for adult-sized humans, let alone little elephants. That won't stop Little Elliot, a tiny elephant covered in pastel polka dots, from trying to make it work. He's figured out how to get around the city despite his size, but is still stymied by one goal: buying a cupcake. When he helps an even tinier friend and then his new friend helps him, he realizes that teamwork is the key to happiness in the big city.

The story is sweet, but the real star is debut author-artist Mike Curato's illustrations, which set Little Elliot in a 1930s Manhattan, complete with every man wearing a hat, and 10-cent slices of pie. Children will love seeing the world from the little elephant's perspective, as Elliot struggles to do things such as open doors. The writing is simple enough for emerging readers, but kids who aren't reading yet will enjoy the story, too. --Stephanie Anderson, head of readers' advisory at the Darien Library and blogger

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