They wondered if there was something that would keep the zoo open. What could each one do to “spruce it up a bit?” Every animal had some ability that they used to clean up the zoo…that is, all but Ellie, the elephant. But one day, the zookeeper left a paint brush out with orange paint still in the bristles. Ellie tried using it. She found that she could paint…flowers, rainbows, animals, people. And she painted everywhere. All around the zoo! Everywhere!
Word got out that Ellie, the elephant, was very creative. People from the city came to see what Ellie had done and what she could do. Reporters showed up to get the word out. Then, people from around the world visited the zoo to watch Ellie painting. They visited her gallery. They saw the clean and colorful zoo. The animals home was saved and more beautiful than ever.
This is a delightful story. It has a happy ending. The art is gracefully done and peaceful to look upon. “Ellie” reminds us that each one of us has something special to give to the world. Sometimes, it takes a bit of seeking to find that talent, that ability, that specialty. Ellie found hers after much dismay, but she becomes an happy elephant and the reader becomes happier once the tale is told.
Reading Level: ages 3-5
This is Mike Wu’s first book, but he is an animator at Pixar. He has worked on The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Up, and Toy Story 3, among other movies. He has a BFA in Character Animation from the California Institute of the Arts. Mike lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his family. You can find him online at theartofmikewu.com.
Original review I did was on 7-5-2015
See the trailer from Disney Hyperion: