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The Masterwork of a Painting Elephant

Michelle Cuevas, Ed Young (Illustrator)


List Price: 15.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Ever since he was an infant, Pigeon Jones has lived on the back of an artistically gifted white elephant named Birch. Birch is a loving father, but that doesn't stop Pigeon from wondering about the human parents who abandoned him. Birch has dreams, too of being a well-known artist, and of finding the acrobat he fell in love with while they performed together in a circus years ago.

And so, on Pigeon's tenth birthday, their search for fame and lost loves begins. Pigeon and Birch paint their way across the world, dodging an evil circus ringleader, freeing zoo animals, and befriending singing hoboes along the way. But when they reach the end of their journey, Birch must master the most difficult art of all: letting go and allowing his beloved Pigeon to stand on his own two feet.

Praise For The Masterwork of a Painting Elephant

"A preposterous premise is the underpinning for this delightful, touching fable..."--School Library Journal “This is a contemplative but entertaining tale perfect to share at bedtime or on a rainy afternoon.” --BCCB “This wonderfully crafted story illustrates the difficult decision Birch must make, namely to allow his beloved Pigeon to leave and stand on his own.” "The unlikely combination of zany story arc, resonant illustrations, and graceful telling come together in a memorable and original offering.” --Booklist "A touching, singular story of a painting elephant and the boy he lovingly fosters." --Kirkus Reviews "This book is a wonderful bedtime read-aloud for parents and children to share; it is magical and true, strange and comforting, all at once."- Emily Jenkins, author of Invisible Inkling “Part origin myth, part Little Prince, and part circus act, this book pulls you into its own dreamlike world, replete with hilarity, strange beauty, and a sense of life wisely observed.  Ed Young's expressive brush drawings match the writer's light touch and add a pleasure of their own.” —Paul O. Zelinsky, author/illustrator of the Caldecott Medal-winner Rapunzel

Farrar Straus Giroux, 9780374348540, 136pp.

Publication Date: October 11, 2011

About the Author

Michelle Cuevas graduated from Williams College and holds a master of fine arts in creative writing from the University of Virginia, where she received the Henry Hoyns Fellowship. She lives in Berkshire County, Massachusetts.Ed Young is the Caldecott Award-winning illustrator and writer of many children's books. He lives in Westchester County, New York, with his two daughters.