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Frequently Bought Together

17 Kings And 42 Elephants (Dial Books for Young Readers) + The Doorbell Rang + One Hundred Hungry Ants
Price for all three: $26.15

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  • The Doorbell Rang $6.29
  • One Hundred Hungry Ants $6.26

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten and up
  • Series: Dial Books for Young Readers
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Dial (September 30, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803704585
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803704589
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 9.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #332,114 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Mahy's jocund verse, first published 15 years ago, has been dressed in colorful new clothes. MacCarthy's vivid batik paintings on silk gleam like the eyes of the "white toothed crocodiles" or the sleek stripes of the magnificent tigers. The story is simple: 17 kings sing and dance their way through the jungle on the backs of 42 elephants until the "deep dark jungle" swallows them. Their mysterious destination is not as important as their obvious joy in the journey; the characters are not asimportant as the rollicking language. Like Vachel Lindsay, Mahy has penned a foot-stomping poem; it sways like the backs of the elephants past peacocks, pelicans, hippopotomums and other "watchers in the jungle, moist and mistalline" that "bibble-bubble-babble to the bad break herebing-bang-bong!" Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 2 In words both sensible and nonsensical, Mahy's entourage of kings and elephants makes its way through the jungle. Readers don't know where they came from or where they're going, but the journey is a joyous one. Before the procession disappears into the night, assorted jungle creatures respond to the songs and music of the travelers: ``Forty-two elephantsoh, what a lot of 'ums, /Big feet beating in the wet wood shade, /Proud and ponderous hippopotomums /Danced to the music that the marchers made.'' Painted on silk, the batik illustrations glow with the lush, clear colors of the fabric. Their visual patterns reflect the verbal patterns and the fun of the text. The hippopotomums are palpably ponderous, the flamingos gorgeously pink. Not since Preston and Parker's Pop Corn and Ma Goodness (Viking, 1969; o.p.) has there been such a marriage of happy, rhythmic language and illustrations. Go for it. Your small patrons will love it. Janet D. French, Centennial School Dist . Libs . , Warminster, Pa.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Margaret Mahy lives in New Zealand and is internationally acknowledged as one of the most outstanding children's writers today. She is the author of more than two hundred books for children of all ages, two of which have received England's Carnegie Medal and others of which have garnered numerous citations from the American Library Association. She is also the recipient of An Order of New Zealand, the highest honor a citizen can receive. In 2006 she received the Hans Christian Andersen award for her contributions to international children's literature.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 15 customer reviews
I have been reading this book to my 3-month-old.
KBR128
It has wonderful rhythm and rhyme and is full of imagination and gorgeous pictures!
BestBets
Whenever I have a baby gift to purchase, this is one of the books I give.
Linda Morris

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 8, 1997
Format: Paperback
This book is musical in its use of language. The verse seems to mimic the marching of the elephants. Reading and listening to the book are equally delightful. The pictures are lush and beautiful. I'm on my second child, and this remains a favorite of my 3 and 6 year old sons.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Suzanne E. Greydanus on December 11, 2003
Format: Hardcover
My husband made up a song to go with the words - this is one of our family's favorites! A very sing-songy read with made up words and a short but sweet narrative. Get this book and try to make up a tune to go with the poetry. This is not a counting book. If you like imagination and poetry, you'll love this.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer L. Rogers on October 9, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book is a fast favorite at our house. The verse itself is very similar to Dr. Seuss -- lots of license with words and a bouncy rhyme. The pictures are lovely.

With regard to an earlier reviewer's comments, this is NOT a counting book. Instead, it's a tale of kings and elephants (natch!) riding through the jungle who spread their happy song to various animals along the way. Toddlers appreciate the rhyme, while older kids (4-6) will enjoy the creative language.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth VINE VOICE on December 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover
My third grade teacher had the whole class memorize the entire book, and we said it in this rhythmic way and felt very cool. I still remember parts of it years later, and just remember how magical it was to feel transported to the kings on the elephants marching through the jungle on a wild wet night. We did all sorts of crafts and activities around it and our teacher really taught us how fun books and ideas and imagery can be. So I love this book and remember it being very fun when I was in third grade. I also remember great illustrations.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Alyssa A. Lappen TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 13, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This narrative was perhaps the first poem my children learned--and both they and I love it.

"Seventeen kings and fourty-two elephants

Going on a journey on a wild wet night"

meet all sorts of wonderful creatures in their travels through the lush jungle inhabiting these pages.

There are white-toothed crocodiles, green-eyed dragons, small crabs, ponderous hippoptomums, dancing "to the music that the marchers made," not to mention tigers, cranes, pelicans, peacocks, and twangling trillicans. They go off into the night as raindrops glisten on the elephants' backs and the deep dark jungle devours their tracks. Altogether a delightful journey into word play and magical illustrations.

--- Alyssa A. Lappen
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Martha Vlahos on January 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Magnificent (like colorful batik fabric) pictures, captivating rhyme, so cleverly written. Kids really love it. This book will stay on your shelves for a long time!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By gfrierson on April 1, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I got this book at the Midland County Library when my now 21 year old daughter was preschool age. I was ordering books for my classroom (6th grade), thought of it, and just had to have it. Who can resist a story about whimsical world leaders adventuring through the jungle on a "wild, wet night"? Toward the end they all dance to the sound of a single gong and "bibble, babble, bubble to the bing, bang, bong!" So much fun. My students laughed at how much I enjoyed reading the book to them, but they couldn't resist repeating that alliterative line over and over the rest of the day. Great examples of alliteration and onomatopoeia, I can't decide which illustration I like best: the one with the big old hippo bootie or the absolutely gorgeous tiger close up. If you have kids or teach kids, you gotta get this book. It's amazing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sharon Croft on January 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an amazing book full of great words that will make your toungue twist. The illustrations support the text with vibrant artistic flare. This is a must for all school libraries and parents with young children. Children who are exposed this rich vocabulary will extend their own sense of words. Parents and teachers should read the text at least once before reading it aloud...some of the words are tricky to say and keep the rhythm of the story flowing.
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