For years I’ve heard about the beloved Need a House? Call Ms. Mouse! but I’ve never been able to find a copy that wasn’t selling for hundreds of dollars. (I’m still looking, if anyone has a hot lead!) But I’m very grateful to Ms. Mouse; she led me to my oldest son’s very favorite book: The Elephant’s Airplane and Other Machines. Doris Susan Smith illustrated both books and her work is amazingly intricate and creative. The story (translated from the original French) is really mostly an excuse for the illustrations; animals come from far and wide to Raccoon, Maker of Fine Machines, to order the custom-built machines of their dreams. My son’s favorites include an underwater speed boat for The Deep Diving Platypus and a traveling home for Rabbit the Explorer. Personally, I’m particularly fond of the heated snowmobile for A Most Unusual Lizard. Though it is out of print, this book is easy to find and is absolutely worth the effort.
Author: Anne-Marie Dalmais
Illustrator: Doris Susan Smith