Dec 8, 2011

Eva and Her Animal Friends

by Ulla Kampmann

This is a book that got weeded out of my daughter's library. She recently got a new bookshelf and it's crammed full (smaller than the old one) so a few had to go. (Most of the board books went to a different shelf just for the baby). Eva and Her Animal Friends is one I've had a long time and can't remember where I got it.

I actually really like the story: a little girl named Eva is getting ready to visit the zoo and talking to some animals in her backyard. The fox is very vain and thinks he's the most beautiful, clever creature around. The sparrow is practical, busy and forever worrying about her children. The bunny is just a little innocent fellow. They all want to know about the zoo, which the sparrow tells them about- having visited herself once (she has a cousin who lives in an elephant's cage). They learn that lions have long tails, brown fur and loving eyes. Elephants have wrinkled skin, big ears and are very smart. Eva goes off to the zoo with the idea that she can bring a lion home for a pet- or maybe an elephant (the sparrow's recommendation). When she gets there, she realizes at once that neither animal is suitable for a pet, and settles for an ice-cream cone instead. The next day, the animals in the yard wake up early and find a strange creature among them. At once they assume this is the new pet Eva brought back from the zoo- but is it a lion, or an elephant? It has brown fur, a long tail, loving eyes and wrinkles and large ears. What can it be? They are all puzzled until Eva arrives to tell them about it.

It's a charming little tale. My only problem is the pictures. They're awkward, look like a child drew them and scribbled in with markers. I really don't care for them at all (and neither does my kid). So even though the story is enjoyable, she doesn't want to look at the book. I really wish this book were reissued with new illustrations. As it is, my copy is probably going to get recycled- it's missing all the front pages (including the first illustration) and has quite a few tears with old, yellowed tape and a very worn cover. It's sad, but one that must go.

rating: 2/5 ........ 30 pages, 1967

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