Jean Merrill’s The Elephant Who Liked to Smash Small Cars

Jean Merrill’s The Pushcart War is one of my favorite books. Decades back I read it aloud many times, wrote and put it on as a play, and also did a movie of it.  This year I’ve decided it is time to return to it and so I plan to read it aloud to my class, have them create an animated version (I’m revising my script for this), and help me advocate for getting it back in print.  For this last I’ve been poking about a bit to find out more about it and came across this really, really, subversive little book by the author, Jean Merrill.  


Filed under The Pushcart War

3 responses to “Jean Merrill’s The Elephant Who Liked to Smash Small Cars

  1. Anonymous Librarian

    I LOVE this book and wish it weren’t out of print! Years ago, I used to visit day care centers, and this was one book that always worked with 2 and 3 year-olds. I’ve always thought it would come back in print. I’m not so sure I would have thought of it as subversive, though the message is unflinchingly realistic: if you enjoy being destructive, irresponsible and aggressive, the world is going to get rough with you. Most children find this out through experience. They still giggle when the elephant jumps up and down on the cars and squashes them–they get a vicarious thrill out of his badness–and I think the chastening moral at the end is acceptable, because it rings true to their personal histories and their senses of justice.


  2. Pingback: Jean Merrill and Ronni Solbert’s The Elephant Who Liked to Smash Small Cars | educating alice

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