When an elephant plants himself in the road and refuses to move, the people of Prickly Valley try all sorts of methods to get him to go - but one thoughtful little girl works up the courage to do what no one else has done: ask him. Balancing both hilarity and sensitivity, Poe Won't Go has the feel of a contemporary classic, reminding readers that there is power in one, power in listening, and power in being a friend.
"*Starred Review* When Poe, a huge elephant sporting a fedora and an unhappy expression, plops himself down in the middle of the road, the citizens of Prickly Valley an outstandingly diverse lot in Ohora's cartoon illustrations unite to find a way to get him to move. Unfortunately, all their horn honking, music blasting, tugging, and tickling come to naught. Not mice nor motivational speakers, copters, cranes, or clowns with horn squeakers can get Poe to budge. When at last a hijab-wearing child named Marigold suggests asking him why, the derisive townsfolk admit that they don't speak elephant. Well, anyone can speak elephant if they just listen hard enough, she responds, and, sure enough, it turns out he's waiting for a tardy friend . . . or, more precisely, on a friend, as he discovers when he stands up (at a news reporter's suggestion) to reveal his cheery buddy, Moe the monkey. DiPucchio's rhythmic narrative, which breaks into rhyme partway through, makes for a swinging, sometimes silly read-aloud. The pictures are likewise playful, with an immense pink pachyderm at their visual centers, and will be easily discernible to small or large audiences. Best of all, by offering an example of the value of listening better to other voices (and, for that matter, to public media), the episode makes a timely point.--John Peters Copyright 2018 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"In this collaboration from DiPucchio (Gaston) and OHora (The Teacher's Pet), a bright pink elephant wearing a jaunty Tyrolean hat impedes traffic in Prickly Valley. Indifferent to honking, ticketing, tickling, pushing, and mayoral decree ("They blew trombones and blasted megaphones"), Poe simply will not move. Finally, Marigold, a girl wearing a stylish floral hijab, proposes a different approach: "Has anyone asked Poe why he won't go?" Initially ridiculed for her idea, Marigold perseveres ("Anyone can speak elephant if they just listen hard enough"), and when Poe reveals his sweet reason for staying, kindness and open communication prevail over anger and assumption. OHora's illustrations are a treat. He infuses the characters, even nameless townspeople, with unique personalities and styles, and shifts in perspective-from wide views that depict Poe surrounded by cars and crowds to close spreads that show only Poe's shocked expression and a tiny, satisfied Marigold-inspire a deeper audience connection with this patient elephant and wise youth. Ages 3-5. Author's agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. Illustrator's agent: Sean McCarthy, Sean McCarthy Literary. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
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