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5-4-3-2-1: Sylvia Bishop | Teens on Moon Lane

5-4-3-2-1: Sylvia Bishop

By Jim Dean, June 3, 2016

Having heard lots of fantastic things about Sylvia Bishop’s Erica’s Elephant, published yesterday by Scholastic, we’re thrilled that she’s the latest author to tackle our popular 5-4-3-2-1 feature!

FIVE Books you’d save from a burning bookcase

1. A. A. Milne – Winnie-the-Pooh: the complete collection (stories and poems)
2. Frances Hodgson Burnett – The Secret Garden
3. Michelle Magorian – Goodnight Mr Tom
4. Dianna Wynne Jones – The Lives of Christopher Chant
5. Omar Khayyám – The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyám

Disclaimer: I am all kinds of risk-averse, and rescuing books from fires seems like Quite a Big Risk. In the event of an actual non-hypothetical fire, I might not live up to my heroic claims.


FOUR Pieces of advice you’d give yourself if you could travel back in time to before you became a published author

1. Concentrate on the one about the elephant, it’s much better than the terrible one about the forest.
2. Spend less time worrying. (I was about to quit education, which meant quitting my Life Plan of going into academia, and I had no idea what I was going to do instead. I deal badly with uncertainty).
3. Take all that time that you would have spent worrying (i.e. a LOT of time) and spend it with your wonderful friends, who are international students, and are all about to leave the country. You will miss them a ton.
4. For the love of all that is holy, eat some vitamins.


THREE Items of swag you’d love to see made (could be for your own book or someone else’s, or a mix)

1. There is a brilliant passage in The Phantom Tollbooth where Milo gets stuck with the Lethargians in the Doldrums. His car breaks down there because he isn’t thinking; once he’s there, laughter and thinking are forbidden, and everything is grey and gloomy; and he is only able to get out because the watchdog comes and explains to him how to re-start his car.

I would like the watchdog’s advice stitched on a hot water bottle cover, because I invariably make myself hot water bottles when I’m in the Doldrums:

“Since you got here by not thinking, it seems reasonable to expect that, in order to get out, you must start thinking.”

2. I would like a notepad some advice that the King gives Alice in Alice in Wonderland stamped in big letters on the front. For obvious reasons:

“Begin at the beginning, and go on til you come to the end: then stop.”

3. A hoodie emblazoned with Eeyore’s infinitely wise assessment of Rabbit’s Expedition. For days when the world is Too Loud.

“This isn’t an Expo- whatever it is – at all, it’s simply a Confused Noise”


TWO Places you love to read

1. The armchair in my room, with a blanket.

2. When I was studying, I was at a college with a chapel, and the chapel had an organ loft, and the organ loft had a person-sized space next to a window where I could eat soup and read things. I miss that.


ONE Relationship you love reading about

1. Will and Zach in Goodnight Mr Tom. Especially that one moment, right near the end of the book, when Magorian suddenly tells us what the friendship looks like from Zach’s perspective, and it makes me want to be Zach’s best pal for always. (Oh, my bruised heart).


Erica’s Elephant by Sylvia Bishop


When Erica Perkins wakes up on the morning of her tenth birthday, the last thing she expects is to find a very confused elephant sitting on her doorstep. So begins an unlikely friendship. But can a small girl and a rather large elephant learn to live together in a tiny terraced house? And when the dastardly owner of the local zoo plots to steal the elephant, will Erica be able to outsmart him?


Information about the Book


Title: Erica’s Elephant

Author: Sylvia Bishop

Release Date: 2nd June 2016

Age Range: 6-8 year olds

Genre: MG Magical Realism

Publisher: Scholastic

Format: Hardback

Goodreads Link


Author Information

Sylvia Bishop is 23 years old and has recently graduated from Oxford. She is one half of the brilliant improvised comedy duo Peablossom Cabaret ( ERICA’S ELEPHANT is her first book, and she intends it to be the first of many quirky stories for young readers.





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