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Guest Blog from Patricia Cleveland-Peck

Author Patricia Cleveland-Peck

The Elephant series, written by Patricia Cleveland-Peck and illustrated by David Tazzyman, is one of our favourite picture book series. 

From the first book You Can’t Take an Elephant on the Bus to the latest You Can't Take an Elephant on Holiday, the stories are jam-packed with animals causing total disaster! Kids love Tazzyman's brilliant illustrations, the books' simple humour, engaging rhymes and the fun array of creatures that get into all sorts of mishaps. 

Never put a camel in a sailing boat, or a tiger on a train, and don't even THINK about asking a whale to ride a bike! 

You Can't Take an Elephant on Holiday is the latest book in the series and Toppsta reviewers love it. Here are a few of their early reviews:

"[my little boy] requested it over and over and then went to bed to "read" it to himself. He adores it!" MrsSmith
"A perfect bedtime story." elilpirana
"a winner with my little ones and I am sure it will be read many times over." apple5054
"very funny and the rhyming language is hilarious..." TBird27
"Every book in this series has put a smile on our faces." RachaelDavis

In her guest blog, Patricia Cleveland-Peck shares her favourite illustrations from the Elephant series.

Toppsta
2021-06-22
Guest Blog from Patricia Cleveland-Peck

guest blog by author Patricia Cleveland-peck

Firstly, I am incredibly glad and grateful that Bloomsbury partnered me with David Tazzyman, the illustrator of the Elephant series. His whacky style suits my silly animals and their human counterparts perfectly. In fact, I love all of his images so it is very hard to choose those I like most!

In You Can’t Take an Elephant on the Bus, I have several favourites. I love the seal taxi driver spread for the detail of the location and the way the Queen makes an appearance. I actually sent a copy of the book to little Prince George when it was published in 2015 with a note telling him to look at that page and he might see someone he knew, adding ‘the corgis are the clue.’ I got a very nice letter back from the Duchess of Cambridge’s secretary. 


Toppsta
2021-06-22
Guest Blog from Patricia Cleveland-Peck

I also love the tiger spread for the passengers and the detail of the Cat Chronicle newspaper the tiger is reading. Children really do notice these details and in fact I had a couple of letters from parents who said their child wondered why the centipede wasn’t on the rollercoaster at the end. I honestly hadn’t noticed but replied that with all those legs he must have gone so fast that he’d skated right off the page…


Toppsta
2021-06-22
Guest Blog from Patricia Cleveland-Peck

In You Can’t Let an Elephant Drive a Digger, it is the elephant’s poo bouncing off the builder’s hat which I think gets the book off to a great start and the skunk spread with its stinkiness that brings it to a satisfactory close. (Also worth noting the toy elephant and bus on the floor in this one – typical Tazzyman details.) 

Toppsta
2021-06-22
Guest Blog from Patricia Cleveland-Peck

I must admit that I am also particularly fond of the wolf spread. I think it has to do with his menacing look and the way he is crossing his legs. I had a letter from a small girl saying I had made a mistake; the wolf is clearly not a ‘he’ but a ‘she.’ I try to make sure the genders are equally represented now.


Toppsta
2021-06-22
Guest Blog from Patricia Cleveland-Peck

In You Can’t Call an Elephant in an Emergency, I love the porcupine flood rescue scene for its liveliness – the colourful variety of the houses, the woman in a flowery dress with her bird in its cage and the pig atop a car. 



Toppsta
2021-06-22
Guest Blog from Patricia Cleveland-Peck

I also love the final spread in which the animals are on holiday; the meerkats cadging a lift from the elephant, the chimp in sunglasses sipping from a coconut (pina colada? – we’ll never know) and the sloth asleep on a lilo with a fruit cocktail balanced on his tummy. Great stuff.


Toppsta
2021-06-22
Guest Blog from Patricia Cleveland-Peck

That finale paves the way for the most recent book, You Can’t Take an Elephant on Holiday. The image of the ostrich trying to put up a deckchair captures what I am trying to convey so skilfully – and once again the little detail of the newspaper declaring ‘elephant considered major threat’ is just brilliant. 

Toppsta
2021-06-22
Guest Blog from Patricia Cleveland-Peck

I also find the lion as a tour guide scene amazingly well done. I love the variety of the panicky tourists, details like the baby and the cameras and coffee flying, even the look on the driver’s face which all go to make this a very vibrant spread. All in all, David is a great illustrator.

Toppsta
2021-06-22
Guest Blog from Patricia Cleveland-Peck
Book pages Placeholder Book

You Can't Take an Elephant on Holiday

'BRILLIANTLY FUNNY' - Abi Elphinstone 

Imagine playing minigolf with meerkats or building a sandcastle with an armadillo! And don't even think about eating candyfloss when there's an albatross about! Jam-packed with crazy creatures, this brilliant new book from the creators of You Can't Take an Elephant on the Bus, You Can't Let an Elephant Drive a Digger and You Can't Call an Elephant in an Emergency is riotous, laugh-out-loud fun!

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21st June 2021

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Featured Book
Bumble and Snug and the Angry Pirates: Book 1
Bumble and Snug and the Angry Pirates: Book 1

BOOK OF THE WEEK - We love this full-colour, graphic novel, pirate adventure. It's perfect for young readers and fans of Dog Man.

View book