Ernest the Elephant
32pp., hbk., RRP $A27.99
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.