Anthony Browne is a British author- illustrator who has produced over fifty books for children.
He is also a former British Children’s laureate.
In his latest book, Ernest the Elephant, the illustrations are absolutely gorgeous, brimming with colour and detail.
The narrative takes the classic story structure of the hero leaving a secure base to pursue an adventure and ultimately discovering there’s no place like home.
This story, however, had something missing. Ernest had very little agency in his quest other than deciding to leave the herd to go and explore the jungle, and getting himself lost.
Sacred and confused, Ernest asks for help from the various big and powerful creatures he encounters, and gets flatly refused. These animals were illustrated beautifully, but their indifference to Ernest’s plight was left unexplained.
In the end, a small creature approaches him and offers to help. It basically solves the problem for Ernest. Browne’s message was that smaller doesn’t mean less effective.
You can read reviews of other of Browne’s books here
Title: Ernest the Elephant
Author: Anthony Browne
Illustrator: Anthony Browne
Publisher: Walker Australia, $27.99
Publication Date: 5 May 2021
For ages: 3 +
Type: Picture Book