Arnold the Elephant is stranded on a deserted island. The island is small. Arnold is not. Having washed up after a storm, Arnold is soon joined by other animals who cannot rescue him. Yet, together they create a community, figuring out what it means to make something new in a space that might not have anticipated the need for something new.
By Belgium artist, illustrator, designer, and writer, Leo Timmers, Elephant Island, published by Gecko Press, is an enchanting and inspiring book with crisp, colorful, and animated illustrations that pop from the pages.
"None of the animals can save the shipwrecked elephant but each broken vessel provides new materials for another intricate construction. Wheels and pulleys create a Ferris wheel, an elevator, a waffle maker. All the animals work as a team to build increasingly intricate constructions that turn the desert island into a fun park city. Soon there will be a whole community and enough space for everyone!
As with all Leo Timmers picture books, Elephant Island has many layers of discovery. Tapping into the childhood pleasure of contraptions, this cheerful picture book is full of complex and playful visual detail and humour that Leo Timmers' readers love. Preschoolers who enjoy Meccano and Lego will find joy on every page with the creation of each new imaginative construction, packed with mechanical detail on bright double page spreads. Elephant Island is a runaway hit in Europe."
Translated by James Brown, Elephant Island was named one of the Best Children's Books of 2022 by the New York Times.
As his webpage points out, "Leo Timmers (1970) studied advertising and graphic design and worked for many years as an illustrator. He made his debut as a picture book author in 2000 with Happy with me and was awarded with a Bookfeather (most promising picture book debut) the same year. Gus's Garage was awarded the 2017 Children's and Youth Jury Award, a price Leo won seven times, and his book Bang was awarded the prestigious Bookpeacock Award (best-illustrated book of the year). Leo's books have been translated into more than 25 languages."