Tag Archives: elephants

Ernest the Elephant – Anthony Browne

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Walker Books Australia

May 2021

ISBN: 9781406395099
Imprint: Walker

Australian RRP: $27.99
New Zealand RRP: $29.99

Anthony Browne never fails to deliver does he? In this vibrant new picture book from the master a little elephant makes quite a big mistake when he wanders away from his herd and into the tempting jungle, mostly because he was feeling just a little bit bored with everything being the same. How often does that sense of ‘blah’ incite a bit of mischief in humans, whether small or big?

At first Ernest finds his jungle journey rather exciting but when he realises that he is quite lost and has no idea at all of how to find his family, his emotions rapidly change. Ernest knows he needs help and he asks one after another of rather large imposing animals; a rude gorilla, a weary lion, an impolite hippo and an uncaring crocodile but none of these are willing to help.

Finally the little elephant comes upon a tiny mouse who quickly volunteers to help. Ernest is pretty sure that such a small creature would be of no assistance at all but working together, the pair are quickly able to locate Ernest’s mum and family.

It is a simple story of how we can find help in the most unexpected of places and that it is not the ‘big important’ people who can be the best friends, and it will certainly resonate with even the youngest of readers who will be able to pinpoint the crux of the theme very easily. My first thought for a teaching experience was to compare and contrast with Aesop’s Lion and the Mouse – one story so very old and one so fresh and modern, yet both with the same simple and direct message.

As always Browne’s illustrations are simply stunning and bring joy to the reader – that jungle certainly is tempting with its jewel-like colours!

Highly recommended for little ones from as young as three for a read-aloud and on up to Year 2/3.

Teaching notes available here

Elmer – David McKee

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elmer

Walker Books Australia

March 2020

ISBN: 9781783449910
Imprint: Andersen Press
Australian RRP: $14.99
New Zealand RRP: $16.99

Celebrating 30 magical years of Elmer is this gorgeous board book with a special gold-embossed cover. This is the original Elmer story that started it all for all of us who love this adorable, wise and colourful elephant.

This much-loved patchwork elephant has been delighting little readers with all his adventures for the past three decades and I dare say that there would be very few Kindy or Prep classrooms that have not made him and his stories a focus of a learning unit – of course accompanied by many works of art.

Invariably it is the underlying theme of acceptance and embracing of differences that is a key factor in the choice of using these stories in the classroom but their beauty goes well beyond that. Small children relate to Elmer and his various antics so readily and with such joy.

This beautiful board book edition will ensure that even the tiniest of readers can enjoy the vibrancy of the illustrations as well as hearing the story.

Why not plan a birthday party for Elmer for your own class? With so many stories as well as the plethora of teaching resources that abound it would make for a joyful experience for your little humans.

It goes without saying that I highly recommend this as a start up especially for a brand new reader-in-the-making of your acquaintance.

Enjoy David McKee reading this first in the series:

Elephants Have Wings – Susanne Gervay/Anna Pignataro

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Ford St  Publishing

ELEPHANTS_HAVE

9781925000399 (hardcover)
9781925000405 (paperback)
Publication date:
October 2014 (hardcover)
March 2015 (paperback)
Extent: 32 pages
Format: Landscape picture book 266 x 239mm
Price:
$26.95 (hardcover)
$16.95 (paperback)
Category: Picture Book
Age guide: 7+

ELEPHANT AND THE BLIND MEN

Once upon a time, there lived six blind men in a village. One day the villagers told them, “Hey, there is an elephant in the village today.”

They had no idea what an elephant is. They decided, “Even though we would not be able to see it, let us go and feel it anyway.” All of them went where the elephant was. Everyone of them touched the elephant.

 

 elephant

 

“Hey, the elephant is a pillar,” said the first man who touched his leg.

“Oh, no! it is like a rope,” said the second man who touched the tail.

“Oh, no! it is like a thick branch of a tree,” said the third man who touched the trunk of the elephant.

“It is like a big hand fan” said the fourth man who touched the ear of the elephant.

“It is like a huge wall,” said the fifth man who touched the belly of the elephant.

“It is like a solid pipe,” Said the sixth man who touched the tusk of the elephant.

They began to argue about the elephant and everyone of them insisted that he was right. It looked like they were getting agitated. A wise man was passing by and he saw this. He stopped and asked them, “What is the matter?” They said, “We cannot agree to what the elephant is like.” Each one of them told what he thought the elephant was like. The wise man calmly explained to them, “All of you are right. The reason every one of you is telling it differently because each one of you touched the different part of the elephant. So, actually the elephant has all those features what you all said.”

“Oh!” everyone said. There was no more fight. They felt happy that they were all right.

The moral of the story is that there may be some truth to what someone says. Sometimes we can see that truth and sometimes not because they may have different perspective which we may not agree too. So, rather than arguing like the blind men, we should say, “Maybe you have your reasons.” This way we don’t get in arguments. In Jainism, it is explained that truth can be stated in seven different ways. So, you can see how broad our religion is. It teaches us to be tolerant towards others for their viewpoints. This allows us to live in harmony with the people of different thinking. This is known as the Syadvada, Anekantvad, or the theory of Manifold Predictions.

http://www.jainworld.com/literature/story25.htm

Taking inspiration from this old moral tale used in many spiritual traditions including Jainism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Sufism, Susanne Gervay has created a beautiful story for children to explore ‘the humanity in all of us’.

After their father retells his version of the story, two children are magically transported on a winged elephant to discover the meaning of the parable. This beautiful tale is accompanied by wonderful illustrations created from a variety of media in an expressionistic style.

The book has been endorsed by the Blake Society with the Blake Prize for art and poetry exploring themes of spirituality, religion and human justice and links perfectly with the Australian Curriculum: Asia & Australia’s Engagement with Asia.

A beautiful addition to your collection for children Lower/Middle school.

My First Elmer Collection – David McKee

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firstelmer

Random House

9781783441792
Published: 7 Aug 2014

Four ELMER board books in one handy package!

Elmer’s Colours
Elmer’s Day
Elmer’s Friends
Elmer’s Weather

Shrinkwrapped in an attractive card wrapper to make a gorgeous gift for a young baby and an esssential addition to every playgroup and nursery school’s book shelves.

Fact: Everyone loves elephants.

Fact: Everyone loves Elmer.

Well, that’s how it works in our family and I have to say, that I have not shared Elmer with any Lower School humans who have not had a similar response!

And now, in the 25th anniversary year of Elmer stories, here is the dinkiest, cutest little series/set to gift to miniscule people in your circle.  As we know, reading starts with the smallest of children if it is to be a lifelong habit and this perfectly sweet collection of four Elmer board books is a super way to start your favourite little one off on such a journey.

Each little board book is sturdy, well designed – and particularly important, the exactly right size for small dimpled hands to clasp onto and wave around excitedly.

As one might expect, vibrant colours abound and are accompanied by simple text to which tinies will relate well. I cannot recommend these highly enough. As well as the joys of the stories and colourful illustrations, simple concepts are shared. For example, in Elmer’s Friends the reader is introduced to those friends with comments such as ‘Hello Snake. You’re longer than anybody’.

While these might not suit everyone’s school library – those with Early Childhood centres or who accommodate younger siblings might differ – they are certainly a gorgeous gift for the small people in your life.

Read about the evolution of Elmer here and the always wonderful Sparklebox has heaps of resources here.

And now, sit back and enjoy an Elmer experience here.

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Caesar the War Dog #3: Operation Pink Elephant – Stephen Dando-Collins

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Caesar the War Dog #3: Operation Pink Elephant – Stephen Dando-Collins
ISBN: 9780857981684
Published: 01/08/2014
Imprint: Random House Australia Children’s
Extent: 288 pages
RRP $16.99

Everyone’s favourite canine hero, Caesar, is back and off on another serious mission with his buddy, Ben.
The Global Rapid Reaction Responders (GRRR) are shocked to find out that their friend Lucky, who is currently working for the Tanzanian Government as a wildlife ranger, has been kidnapped by notorious elephant poachers. These evil men, led by a particularly vile ‘General’, not only show a complete lack of compassion and morals regarding the elephants but also intimidate local villagers, kidnap children and force them to train as ‘soldiers’ and treat the wildlife rangers with contempt and violence.
It is up to the GRRR team to track down these nefarious wrong-doers and rescue Lucky and save the elephants. Ben and Caesar execute a risky parachute jump into a rough sea to meet up with the rest of team on HMAS Canberra and the adventure begins. On landing in Tanzania the team begin to put together clues and set upon the trail of poachers. Caesar’s expert nose is really going to be the advantage to Ben and his team as they track down their good friend and the illegal cargo of ivory.
These are terrific books for boys who are not so keen to read. They are fast-paced, with a vocabulary that is not too demanding. There is enough action and suspense to sustain the thirst for adventure without being disturbingly graphic. Stephen Dando-Collins has an effective connection with his readership and it has been my observation that when I suggest one of his titles to my boys, they are keen for more when they have finished.

In addition, this title encourages readers to think about several very important ethical issues.

Click here to read a sample.

Visit the author’s website.

Recommended for readers aged around 10 and up.