Blog tour: ‘You Can’t Let An Elephant Drive a Racing Car,’ by Patricia Cleveland-Peck, illustrated by David Tazzyman.

Once again, an elephant and his friends wreak havoc across the pages of this book in the newest instalment in this snort-inducing series!

“Have you ever seen a weightlifting wombat, or a figure-skating alligator?
How about a pole-vaulting hippo, or an octopus . . . playing table tennis?

Get ready for all sorts of hilarious animal antics in this side-splitting picture book from the creators of the bestselling You Can’t Take an Elephant on the Bus. From zebras playing cricket to a walrus on a mountain bike, this book will make you laugh out loud. Jam-packed with silly animals and all your favourite sports, it’s riotous, irresistible fun!”

David Tazzyman’s wonderful illustrations add an element of anarchy and mayhem to this fabulously silly picture book. In the piece below, author Patricia Cleveland-Peck shares some of her favourite spreads. I don’t know how she managed to narrow it down!

Patricia Cleveland-Peck’s favourite spreads from the rather wonderful:
‘You Can’t Let an Elephant Drive a Racing Car

My favourite spread in You Can’t Let an Elephant Drive a Racing Car is the one depicting the gymnastic monkeys at the end of the book. The use of colour is so good – against a glorious red background thirteen grey vervet monkeys cavort around the gymnasium, more than aptly illustrating my words, ‘some do vaults, some do handstands, some fall on the floor.’ The spread is so full of vitality: we see them jumping, leaping, swinging and almost flying. It is David Tazzyman’s ability to create images with so much life which makes them extra special. I also love the little details which he slips into his pictures. In this spread the bananas and banana skins are scattered all over the place – one is even being eaten by a monkey hanging from a trapeze ring by one hand!

Plus, there is always some fun on the covers – in You Can’t Let an Elephant Drive a Digger, the elephant poo is bouncing off the workman’s hard hat and in this new one, the elephant grabs the hat of the racing steward. Another spread I love is the octopus playing ping-pong. I liked the idea of an octopus wielding eight table tennis bats and David has interpreted this brilliantly. The bright red octopus, a bat grasped by each tentacle, is almost cross-eyed with determination, while her poor child opponent is almost falling over backwards with the effort of trying to return the countless balls which are flying across the table. Once again,a dynamic image bursting with movement and life.

One more thing I enjoy is the odd facial expressions that David manages to give many of the characters. The gang of adults, children and animals often have quirky looks, created by a few skilfully drawn lines; my favourites are the slightly dopey look of the eponymous elephant, the horrified panda in You Can’t Call an Elephant in an Emergency, plus the distressed wombat and the nonchalant walrus in this new book, You Can’t Let an Elephant Drive a Racing Car. I also love the final spread of this book showing the animalsenjoying a bubble bath. We see the flying warthog, the nervous wombat and the octopus’ tentacles extending throughout the spread.

There is certainly so much to spot and delight in as you’re sharing this gloriously bouncy book. It is just begging to be read aloud to an audience who will revel in the craziness of the animals’ sporting efforts and undoubtedly make some suggestions of their own.

Funny, crazy, and unexpected – the series which keeps on giving!

Library Girl.

*Many thanks to Bloomsbury for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour*

One thought on “Blog tour: ‘You Can’t Let An Elephant Drive a Racing Car,’ by Patricia Cleveland-Peck, illustrated by David Tazzyman.

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