When they came, the herd scattered in fright, their trumpeting calls shattering the morning. Seree and her mother were cornered. Life in the jungle was good for young Seree and her mother until the day poachers come. Separated from her mother and the life she knows, Seree is taken to work in a circus. Forced to perform every day and spend each night in chains, Seree longs to be with the herd and reunited with her mother. Will she ever be free?
This is another picture book that, on the surface, looks like it is for young readers, but which would be really useful with older students aware of animal conservation and the plight of many creatures.
In 1992, 30 years ago, the ACT introduced ground-breaking legislation that banned the use of exotic animals in circuses and by April this year, 45 countries had imposed similar bans. Reminiscent of Elizabeth Stanley’s The Deliverance of Dancing Bears it can open up discussions about how animals are used and treated, and whether there is ever a place for their being in captivity but also how attitudes have changed and it is the voice of the people calling for that change that has made the difference. So while the focus of the book may seem anachronistic, its importance in continuing to shine a spotlight on the welfare and treatment of animals in general, and elephants in particular, will sadly, always be necessary. There are always those willing to exploit our wild creatures for any reason that makes them money and while it may no longer be for circuses, there are other heinous issues that must be wiped out, before the elephants themselves are gone. The author is an ambassador for Save Elephant Foundation and offers more information about their plight and what can be done in the final page.
There isn’t enough food left on the island to sustain Star’s Asian elephant family -no more teak tree bark, bamboo shoots, bananas or even palatable grasses because their natural jungle is being cleared for palm oil plantations. So Star’s herd has to split up to find other food sources if they are to survive at all, and Star finds himself swimming in the ocean under the stars for what seems like the longest time ever. But the world out there is so big! Despite Aunty’s constant warnings about not going where his mum can’t see him, soon Star finds himself lost and alone, facing giant “spiders “and a big, wild ocean and the scariest thing of all … humans! Will he ever be reunited with his family?
The second in a new graphic novel series called Surviving the Wild designed to make young readers more aware of the environment by viewing it through the lenses of those creatures that live in it, this story is loosely based on a true story when, in 1990, three bull elephants swam across the Johor Strait from Malaysia to Singapore, landing on an island where there was a military base and the soldiers tracked the elephants so they could be safely rehomed in a nearby sanctuary, the focus of this story is the impact of deforestation on the natural inhabitants of these places, from creatures as large and as visible as the elephants and orangutans, to the not-so-obvious like the fiddler crabs. Thus, even our youngest readers can become aware of the devastation that humans can inflict on the environment and, in their own small way, begin to make changes which can have far-reaching effects. Even looking at the labels on the food their parents purchase and encouraging them to look for those without palm oil or with the symbols of either the Rainforest Alliance or Forest Stewardship Council can make a difference.
Teachers’ notes focusing on helping young readers read and interpret the graphic novel format are available.
It’s two days before Christmas Eve, the night Papa Red visits, and the young elephants are very excited. This year Elmer has a special treat in store for the young elephants, if they can keep quiet and out of sight…
Elmer the patchwork elephant is an enduring favourite with our youngest readers and this specially abridged version of the original is shaped like a Christmas tree and designed for little fingers that will add to the anticipation of THE night! Who knew that elephants and their friends celebrated this special time just like we do?
A classic for the Christmas Countdown collection that will open up a whole world of Elmer stories, activities and fun for a new generation.
Noa loves to watch the elephants play in the water near his small village in East Africa. One day tragedy strikes and the baby is left all alone, his mother killed by poachers. When Noa and his village adopt the lonely orphan, a beautiful friendship is born. Until one stormy night when Noa may need his friend to save him too…
Who doesn’t love a story about baby elephants? In this one, in association with Tusk, the African wildlife conservation charity, the plight of elephants is highlighted as, despite the efforts of government rangers and the global ban on trading ivory, their tusks make them prized targets of poachers. Foreman’s sensitive text and gentle illustrations make this a compelling story to read and share and give hope that there will still be elephants for our little ones to see in the future.
Ernest the elephant lives with his mum and the rest of the herd and most of the time he is happy to follow them, and eat and drink, then sleep at night. But when they wander past a jungle, his curiosity gets the better of him and he wanders off. Soon he is lost and has no idea how to find his mother again. But, when he asks the jungle’s residents – the gorilla, the lion, the hippo and the crocodile – none of them is interested in helping him.
However, a little mouse says he knows the way and even though Ernest is not sure that a little mouse can help a big elephant, it’s better to be lost with someone than lost alone.
There is something about baby elephants that draws us all in and, combined with our imaginations, this charming story comes to life as we picture Ernest wandering off as though he were real. Maybe you’re even old enough to also “hear” that iconic tune by Henry Mancini. So as well as being an engaging story, it lends itself to all sorts of dramatic activities – moving like Ernest; moving in time to the music; moving like the adult elephants; observing the differences between children and adults moving; being the gorilla, the lion, the hippo, the crocodile and the mouse and imitating their voices and actions – all bringing the story to life in a way that will show children how one print text can open up a world of entertainment.
Each year the baby elephants present themselves to Elephant Mighty who demands they perform unique feats that will suggest their new name. And so he watches elephants on stilts, on their heads, standing on one leg, swinging on vines … Nina pulls out a tree by its roots with her trunk so becomes Elephant Strong, while Norcus bellows so loud that even the vultures take flight so he is dubbed Elephant Noisy.
But when Num Num has no special skills or tricks, Elephant Mighty calls him Elephant Nothing-At-All, humiliating Num Num so much he feels compelled to leave the herd and find another waterhole. But there he makes friends with a lot of other creatures and learns that not only does he have a special talent but he also has the courage to return to confront Elephant Mighty – with surprising results.
Using his signature rhyming style and accompanied by the most glorious illustrations, this is a story that reaffirms for youngsters that who they are is enough, that it is not about what you can do or what you have or what you look like. Particularly pertinent at a time when its target audience is negotiating the wider world of school and navigating social boundaries within that, Num Num shows that you do not have to conform to a particular stereotype to fit in but that it can take a lot of strength and support to be yourself, a message that needs to be reinforced over and over, even with adults as Elephant Mighty learns.
Thirty years ago I discovered a lovable character that has been an integral part of the lives of the very young students I’ve taught and my grandchildren – a patchwork elephant called Elmer. Every time his creator David McKee offered a new story, it was in my hands and in the ears of the nearest children. So now, to have a collection of the five earliest stories in one volume is heaven on a stick for such a fan.
Featuring Elmer,Elmer and the Rainbow,Elmer and the Lost Teddy,Elmer in the Snow, and Elmer’s Special Day, just five of the 27 stories in the series, the little patchwork elephant who likes to play jokes on his friends but is always compassionate and helpful, is set to make a whole new generation of fans as parents discover this childhood favourite all over again.
And to celebrate his 30th birthday, there is a new story called, appropriately, Elmer’s Birthday. Hoping to get their own back on him, the elephants decide to play a joke on Elmer on his birthday and spend the day getting all the other animals on board. But who has the last laugh?
Great for teaching children about elephants, the animals of the jungle, colour and patterns, as well as the themes of each story, I believe little ones have not had a real education if they don’t meet Elmer. These two are going straight to my version of the pool room!
Here they come ….one, two, three, four, five. A parade of elephants who like to march and march and march. Round and round they go, up, down, under, over, in and out – they march all day. Until bedtime when they lift their trunks and trumpet and scatter stars across the sky.
From the butterflies and sun on the front endpage to the moon and stars on the back, this is a charming story that will help little ones learn to count and understand positional words. They will enjoy being elephants and finding their own places to march though, up, under, in and out and over. Perfect for our youngest readers who will be able to match the words and pictures learning valuable concepts about how print works, this is a charming bedtime story as well as an early maths book! Promote it to your early childhood teachers and parent body who are looking for something delightful but different.
Elephant is building a tower with his blocks. He wants it to be as tall as he is and while he just manages it on his first attempt with four blocks stacked on their edges, it’s very wobbly! CRASH! BOOM! Down it tumbles.
After throwing an elephant-sized tanty, using all sorts of maths-related words, he has another look and another try. This time he tries the same blocks, but flat this time… 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8! And is stands until he crash booms it himself. And then he looks at the other blocks in his tub…
Far from being a stand-alone subject in the curriculum that brings out the moans and groans, we are surrounded by maths concepts and even our youngest readers will enjoy this story as the illustrations are so evocative, the text is just a bonus! Exploring 3D shapes; which stack, which don’t; counting the blocks as they are added and thinking about why one tower took 4 and the other 8; using the language of comparison and building towers that are as tall as, taller than, shorter than other objects; even the dexterity and eye-hand co-ordination involved in the stacking – there is a wealth of activity in this seemingly simple book.
Perfect for keeping the preschooler occupied for hours without a screen and learning at the same time!
Ella is a baby elephant with a broken heart. Taken from her mother at a very early age to become part of the tourist attractions in Thailand, she is shackled by a large chain, poked with a bullhook to be the centre of tourist photos and expected to paint pictures and be the drawcard at weddings. Always hungry, her only friend is a scrawny chicken but her greatest wish is to see her mother again and be reunited with her. Wherever she goes she is on the lookout for her and follows every lead that she hopes will be successful, particularly when she sees her future in the eyes of an old and broken elephant saddled with a howdah and expected to enjoy carrying tourists with a need to say they have ridden an elephant.
One night during a fierce storm Ella is sure she has found her but just as she is about to meet up, she is hit by a car and left on the side of the road. But all is not lost, for Ella is picked up and hauled into a truck that drives away to a … sanctuary.
Written to give a voice to elephants and all other creatures held captive for the tourism market, this is a touching story that tugs at the heartstrings as the reader is given an insight into what really happens behind the scenes of what seems like an innocuous activity. Despite the charming illustrations that suggest a story for the very young, the front cover gives a clue that this is not a happy, sweetness-and-light story and despite its uplifting ending readers are bound to have questions they want answered. Some of these are provided on the final pages of the book while others might need some research. Along with Elizabeth Stanley’s The Deliverance of Dancing Bears and Katherine Applegate’sThe One and Only Ivanit would make an ideal springboard into the use and treatment of animals as tourist attractions and spark a lot of debate about the ethical issues and changing attitudes towards animals in captivity.
Thought-provoking and worthy of a place on the library’s shelves.