Review of Poe Won’t Go, by Kelly DiPucchio, illustrated by Zachariah OHora

Poe Won’t Go

by Kelly DiPucchio
illustrated by Zachariah OHora

Disney Hyperion, 2018. 36 pages.
Starred Review
Review written October 20, 2018, from a library book
2018 Sonderbooks Stand-out #5 in Picture Books – Silly Fun

Sometimes children’s picture books preach more effective sermons than anything else.

In this case, we’ve got a whole town wanting an elephant to move. It takes a little girl to finally think of asking the elephant what he wants.

Here’s how the book begins:

One morning, the good people of Prickly Valley awoke to find an elephant sitting smack-dab in the middle of the only road in town.

How he got there was a mystery. His name was Poe.

It didn’t take long for a traffic jam to form around the uninvited elephant. Horns honked. People yelled from their cars. A policeman wrote him a ticket.

But Poe wouldn’t go.

The townspeople’s efforts to get Poe to leave get more and more entertaining. I especially like it when the mayor gets involved.

“We do not tolerate parked pachyderms in Prickly Valley!” she proclaimed.

The mayor formed committees and councils.
They hatched plans. Drew diagrams.
And drank coffee from Styrofoam cups.

The little girl who finally suggests asking Poe what he wants is delightful. I love that she’s wearing a headscarf and has dark skin. The mayor laughs and says they don’t speak elephant.

“Well, anyone can speak elephant if they just listen hard enough,” said Marigold, who was fluent in both kitten and hedgehog.

And when she finds out what Poe wants, his problem is solved, and he goes on about his business.

My co-worker pointed out that this book demonstrates an important principle of negotiation. Find out what the other party wants.

As with all picture books, you really do need to check this book out and see the charming illustrations for yourself. My summary doesn’t begin to do this wonderful book justice.

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Source: This review is based on a library book from Fairfax County Public Library.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but the views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

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