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Little Elliot, Big City

(Little Elliot #1)

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  2,285 ratings  ·  360 reviews
Amid the hustle and bustle of the big city, the big crowds and bigger buildings, Little Elliot leads a quiet life. In spite of the challenges he faces, Elliot finds many wonderful things to enjoy—like cupcakes! And when his problems seem insurmountable, Elliot discovers something even sweeter—a friend.
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published August 26th 2014 by Henry Holt and Company
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Average rating 4.19  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,285 ratings  ·  360 reviews

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Niki (Daydream Reader)
You know you have a winner of a book when a second grade student says, "I want to marry Elliot! He is so cute." The things my students say....LOL! But I really do want Elliot in stuffed animal form! I just loved this book and so did my 2nd graders. Also, added bonus...I think Elliot and Babymouse would be fast friends...They both love cupcakes! :) ...more
Mar 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-5-star
Elliot is a small elephant living in a big world. When he tries to purchase a cupcake, Elliot goes unnoticed by the sales clerk and customers. This makes him sad until he meets a mouse who is smaller than him. They help each other out and form a friendship.

The author dedicates this book "for anyone who feels unnoticed." The vibrant drawings add description to the text. It's a book about noticing beyond yourself and friendship.
Aug 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
How cute is Elliot? So cute, that when I set the book on the table to read, by the time I turned back from pouring a drink, my 20 yo son had grabbed the book and was reading it. And when he was done he said, yes, you guessed it, "Aww, so cute."

You know what I appreciate? He's not wearing any clothes. Far too often critters are wearing just a shirt... as if that's a nod to decency? Or are wearing too many clothes, as if they're human. No, Elliot is comfortable in his spots, tyvm.

And I just love t
Nov 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone Looking for Adorable Picture-Books
Little Elliot was a small polka-dotted elephant who lived in New York City - Brooklyn, by the look of the brownstones and the bridge. Although in many ways he enjoyed living in a big city. sometimes his small stature made things difficult. He often felt overwhelmed by the crowds in the subway, and had difficulty with infrastructure made for larger residents. His growing feeling of despondency at this state of affairs reached its peak when he couldn't even buy a cupcake - his favorite treat - bec ...more
M. Lauritano
Oct 04, 2015 rated it it was ok
This is one that is always on the back of my mind, because an agent I met told me that I needed an 'Elliot' in my portfolio if I ever wanted to get a book out there. With book two of three in the series coming out in a few days, I thought now would be a good time to organize my thoughts on this cutesy underdog story.

Mike Curato makes some really interesting choices here: setting the story in 1940s New York, coloring scenes with a rich, subdued palette, and featuring a protagonist who is childlik
Jun 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: story-time
Usually this is the time when I say, "I'm not crying, you're crying!" or "Who's cutting onions in here?" BUT NO! I'll admit that this book is just the sweetest!

Also, that dumb little girl looked RIGHT AT ELLIOT and still didn't help him! She was smirking at him! Elliot showed so much restraint not pushing her over and stomping on her mom's foot!
Mary Louise
Before I even read this heartwarming story, I noticed the dedication page: "For anyone who feels unnoticed." What a sweet thought for the author to have! Little Elliot is a small elephant who feels lost and unnoticed in the big city. No one sees him, and even little things like washing the dishes are a challenge for him! One day, he comes across someone even smaller than him- a mouse- and he finds a way to help the mouse out. A friendship is formed, and Little Elliot no longer feels small. A bea ...more
This was a cute story about a little elephant, who has a difficult time getting around the city because he's so small. He is so small that he finds it difficult to buy cupcakes. When he helps out someone who's even smaller than himself, he learns something about friendship. ...more
Adam Silvera
Jul 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Curato's illustrations are EXCELLENT and the story is lovely. Fingers crossed for more Elliot books. ...more
Aug 21, 2014 rated it liked it
This is a very cute book but it threw me a little that the elephant seems directly lifted from "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer." Did they get permission? ...more
A small elephant feels overlooked in the big city. Meh. Appealing-enough, vintage-y illustrations aren't enough to enliven a lackluster story. Read for library book group. ...more
Jul 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
One of my all-time favourite kid's books. I think I've delivered about 5 copies to littles around the world.

There's a little elephant. A cupcake dream. And a mouse who could maybe be a friend!

I still remember my nephew's reaction the first time we read this together. It's too too sweet.
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it

A sweet story about a little elephant who helps out someone in need, and ends up benefitting as they work together and become friends
Dec 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
I just wuv elephants and tiny polka dotted Elliot is no exception. His diminutive size makes it rather difficult to navigate the hustle and bustle of a big city. But even tiny elephants tower over mice so little though he may be, Elliot the elephant is able to lend a trunk to a mouse in need.
The first in a series of picture books bound to please children of all sizes.
Jun 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Elliot is a little elephant who loves living in the big city, but gets frustrated with being overlooked due to his size. He makes many adaptations, but it's not until he meets an animal smaller than himself, a hungry mouse, that he feels his true worth and gains a friend.

Artwork has a muted color palette with a hazy green tinge to it. I really liked all of the vignettes in which Elliot adapts to a world much bigger than himself. They provided essential characterization and offered a little humor
Jun 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Get a peek at Mike Curato's gentle, creative soul as you meet Little Elliot, his BIG world and his even BIGGGER heart.

This is a story about feeling lost in a BIG world and then realizing that you are never alone. There are always people struggling more than you and in need of a kind hand.

There is so much wonderful detail in these completely original illustrations there is not point in cataloging them here.

A nice gift for young people feeling small and a must-have for school library collection
Erik This Kid Reviews Books
Sep 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Little Elliot is an amazingly cute little elephant. Who doesn’t love him? Come on? Who didn’t see Elliot on the cover and go “Awwwww”? ;) Mr. Curato has written a great story about friendship. I like how Elliot meets someone smaller than him and together they tackle the big city! The illustrations are magnificent. I like how it seems to take place in the 1940’s. The cars are well-drawn (and pretty cool). The clothing on the people match the time period too. I love the feel you get from just the ...more
Feb 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
I didn't finish it before because a mouse appeared. I hate stories with mice. Why is that a thing? I need to know.

The illustrations in this book brought me back. On my re-read, I forgot the mouse was coming. The colors and style convey a sense of quiet vs noise that subtly lifts off the page. Readers will feel for little Elliot living in big 1950s New York City and his quiet life.

I really couldn't take my eyes off the pages; the illustrations remind me of an episode of Archer with a subdued co
Katt Hansen
Aug 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
The setting for this story looks like New York City in the 1940s. Love the feel of the illustrations, love the storyline. There's been times in my life where I've felt very invisible so I sympathize immediately with this plight. It's hard being small in such a very big world. The real beauty of the story comes in the messages given - that there's always someone smaller than you, and that facing difficulty with a friend makes all the difference.

And cupcakes. Life needs more cupcakes.
Jillian Heise
A new favorite picture book! Wonderful illustrations and a heart-warming story of an elephant who is all alone in the big city, but when he helps out someone even smaller than himself, he finds help in return...and a new friend. And there are cupcakes!
I think Elliot and Elmer would be friends.
Jan 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book
The author dedicates this book "for anyone who feels unnoticed" and this is the heart of the story. Little Elliot is an endearing polka-dotted elephant who is always in the mood for cupcakes and is in need of a bit of attention. The 1940's style illustrations are gorgeous; I especially enjoyed the cover with the title shaped liked apartment buildings. I hope to see more Little Elliot stories. ...more
May 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
No doubt we need to get Merrymakers on board with creating a Little Elliot plush doll. What a darling story and endearing illustrations! I'm not sure if this one is in contention for a Caldecott (though I think it should be) but I'm thinking it has a chance for a Geisel for sure. ...more
Laura Harrison
Sep 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
I very much wanted to be blown away by this title. Lots of buzz and publicity for it. The illustrations are warm, endearing and lovely. The story is not particularly original but very likeable. I am looking forward to more books by this author.
Paula Hollohan
Dec 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I like the character. Great beginning of the school year book about finding friends and enjoying who you are. I really like the illustrations with retro treasures. Great! Wonderful classroom storybook K-3.
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
a small elephant and an even tinier mouse and you really need more?! Loved the artwork and story
Hansel  and Gretel
Aug 27, 2014 rated it did not like it
The drawings are nice, if oversweet. The problem is the story, banally written and so cliché that it hurts my stomach.
Sep 20, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: mice
The illustrations are cute, and it's a good book for children who may feel alienated from the adult world because of size - but my favorite part was really the mouse buying cupcakes with Elliot. ...more
Edward Sullivan
Oct 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
A polka-dotted elephant new to the big city and feeling invisible makes friends with a white mouse. A charming, warm friendship story superbly illustrated.
This delighted me! It was sweet, but not cloyingly so, just like the perfect little cupcake. The art was wonderful. Nice friendship story.
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MIKE was born and raised in the suburbs of New York City. He has been drawing ever since he could hold a pencil. Mike attended Syracuse University and has a BFA in Illustration. After college, he moved to Seattle, where he eventually began a career as a graphic designer. You can see examples of Mike's design work here. In 2012, Mike finally achieved his lifelong goal of becoming a published author ...more

Other books in the series

Little Elliot (5 books)
  • Little Elliot, Big Family (Little Elliot, #2)
  • Little Elliot, Big Fun (Little Elliot, #3)
  • Little Elliot, Fall Friends (Little Elliot, #4)
  • Merry Christmas, Little Elliot (Little Elliot, #5)

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