Elephant Dance, by Sue Whiting

Nervously, Hugo’s trunk began to sway.
His middle jiggled.
Then he bobbed…
and bounced…
and sang out loud!

Hugo and Millie, two young elephants, are the best of friends. They do everything together, and when they first hear music, they dance together. But Millie gets sick of dancing, and Hugo wants to do nothing else. They argue and separate. But when Hugo finds himself in trouble, Millie uses music to help him out.

Elephant Dance is a beautiful picture book about friendship and compromise. The repeated refrain of ‘boom-boompa-chee’ will delight youngsters who will echo it during and after the story – when I read it to a class of year one students they wanted to boom-boompa-chee around the school for the rest of the day.

The illustrations, by Nina Rycroft, are in beautiful pastels with the browns and greys of the elephants offset by rich orange and blue skies and green grasses. The music weaves through the illustrations on coloured ribbons, symbolising the way it drifts through the air and carrying the tune from page to page and across spreads.

This is a beautiful picture book offering.

Elephant Dance, by Sue Whiting and Nina Rycroft
Koala Books, 2007