In Mike Wu’s follow up to his smash hit children’s book Ellie, the helpful and enthusiastic elephant spruces up the zoo in another friend-filled tale. In Ellie in Concert, Ellie finds that her giraffe friend Lucy can’t sleep because of all of the noise that the other animals are making. Ever looking for ways to improve the zoo, Ellie takes on this challenge and elicits the help of the other animals.
Wu merges the softness of watercolors, the fluidity of music, and the vivid animal characters in a seamless way. His deft hand, honed as an animator at Pixar, shows a mastery of straightforward storytelling and illustration. This gentle story also serves as a good primer on tenacity for young children. Kids will love the vibrant animals and the depiction of music. As a bonus, there are three original songs written for this book by Andy Jimenez. Their scores can be found on the inside covers as well as the inside of the book jacket; audiofiles can be found on Mike Wu’s website (theartofmikewu.com). It would be a fun game to see if the readers can identify which sounds are supposed to represent each animal’s contribution.
Ellie in Concert will always be relevant—highly suggested for young children, ages 3-5.