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The Elephant


Anything we can do to help preserve endangered animals and to give an understanding of why they are so special, is worthy. It is equally important to educate young children about conservation and environmental issues. The author has created a vehicle for achieving these things in a beautifully constructed picture book. Within a story about a child reading a book, we discover that his story is about elephants, and incidentally learn about them ourselves.

The wonderful art work and precise text blend together to inform and impress us. The story begins in a home, with all thing’s elephant. Then it moves to the elephants’ home and shows where and why elephants are on the move. A world map shows us that these large mammals live in Africa and parts of Asia. On two facing pages we have diagrams of one African and one Asian creature. This makes it easy to see the many differences between the two species.

Amazing facts begin to emerge. The leathery skin of these beasts can feel the tiniest fly, they can use their ears for cooling, and they have excellent hearing. Their ears are also useful for defence.  The elephant tusks are long ivory teeth. Their huge trunk is powerful and can pull up a small tree, but the trunk is also so sensitive it can pick up a berry. These animals love the water, their trunks act like snorkels, and the wrinkles in their skin trap water to keep them cool.

The wonderful connection between the art and the story in this hard-back picture book reflects the artists passion for her subject. There is a wealth of information shared in such a way as to inform young children and also adults. Presenting information in this way makes it easy to impress people on the importance of saving our declining elephant population and adds to the respect we have for these intelligent, loyal and loving beasts.

Author Jenni Desmond
Publisher Enchanted Lion Books
ISBN 9781592702640
Distributor New South Books
Released October 2018