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"Stand Back," Said the Elephant, "I'm Going to Sneeze!" Hardcover – April 23, 1990

4.9 out of 5 stars 221 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Patricia Thomas was raised on a small farm in western Pennsylvania and attended a one-room school. She received a B.S. degree from Pennsylvania State University. The author of several rhymed picture book texts, she now works as writer and editor of publications at Marywood College. She lives with her husband in Carbondale, Pennsylvania. They have four children and ten grandchildren.



Wallace Tripp studied at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. He has illustrated more than fifty children's books. Mr. Tripp and his wife run a greeting card company in Peterborough, New Hampshire. They have three children, two dogs, and two cats.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books (April 23, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688093388
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688093389
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.3 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (221 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,264 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on July 13, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I used to read this book to my son, John, when he was little and he absolutely loved it. He never tired of hearing me read it to him. John will soon be 27 years old, but he still remembers this story and so do I.
The story is funny and involves a variety of jungle animals. It is also filled with suspense. Will the elephant sneeze -- or not? This book allows the reader to use several different voices and a lot of drama, something young children love.
When my son grew older, I joined an acting troupe, memorized this story, and performed it in children's theater, with others acting out the parts of the various animals. It was always a hit!
Somehow my original copy was lost and I have searched for years for another one. No one ever seemed to know about this book. I never even found anyone else who had ever read it. I am so happy that I now have a chance to get another copy and to get additional copies for all of the nieces and nephews in my family and for! ! the children and grandchildren of my friends. It will make a fantastic gift that will be greatly enjoyed and remembered for years.
I highly recommend this story to people who have, know, or work with young children.
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Format: Hardcover
I selected this book at random from the Scholastic Book Club when I was in first grade. That was almost 30 years ago. I am an avid reader and this is my favorite book of all time. From the time my oldest son could sit still long enough to listen, he has heard it over and over again. One of my most memorable experiences as a parent was sharing this story with my son's Kindergarten class. You will not truly know the full power of this story until you read it to a group of fifteen or more 5- and 6-year-olds shrieking "PLEASE DON'T SNEEEEEEZE!" at the end of each page. By the end of the book, my ears were ringing. My orginal copy is very worn now, so I bought a new one for my son. I'm sending his teacher a copy as a thank-you for letting me share it with her class. Buy it, memorize it, share it, and, most of all, enjoy it!
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By A Customer on July 13, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I used to read this book to my son, John, when he was little and he absolutely loved it. He never tired of hearing me read it to him.
The story is funny and involves lots of jungle animals. It also has suspense. Will the elephant sneeze or not? This book allows the reader to use a lot of different voices and a lot of drama, something young children love.
Later, when my son had grown older, I joined an acting troupe, memorized this book and performed it in children's theater. It was always a hit.
I highly recommend this story to people who have or work with young children.
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By A Customer on May 10, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful book. It's funny, full of surprises, and the rhythm of the rhyming is so well done. I read this book to my children when they were young and it was one of their favorites. Now I read it to my grandchildren and they love it as well. The humorous but touching story line and the rhyming verses make the children want to learn to read it themselves. It's a classic and should be in every child's reading library.
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Format: Hardcover
This is absolutely the best book I've ever purchased for my children and now I'm purchasing it for my grand daughter. The rhyme and illustrations are super. Every one can relate to a hearty sneeze but imagine an elephant's sneeze...what a ruckus it causes! I have to laugh just thinking about it! Very entertaining to adults and children alike...a must have in your child's library!
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Format: Hardcover
I purchased this book when I was a nursery school teacher. Then I purchased it for my first child. 26 years later, I am still purchasing it... for all my babies... my grandchildren...my nieces (just had my first nephew... haven't bought him the book yet!). We have grown apart over the years... me in CA, them in Oklahoma, Florida and Alabama... yet at least once a month I get a call... "Will you read me Stand back Said the Elephant?"...even though they own the book! I always do it willingly... and with great pleasure! This is one of those books that your children will be buying for their grandchildren. It always makes me feel young again to read this book to one of my "babies".
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Im 19 right now... But I remember my mother reading this story to me and my older sister ever since I was about 4 years old. We had the story up until a couple years ago. Then my little brother got a hold of it and tore it up. So now I am buying a new one. This story is so funny. I recommend this to all children and parents.
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Format: Hardcover
Ms. Thomas captures not only the elephant's heartbreaking struggle with what is likely an undiagnosed allergy or sinus abnormality, but also the psychological toll taken on the wider zoological community as a result of the elephant's nasal issues. Take the poor zebra, a once-dignified animal reduced to a sniveling wreck by apparent post-traumatic stress. Yipes, indeed. Or the bees, their populations already devastated by colony collapse disorder, losing both their wings and their stings. All of this, not to mention the cruelly ironic twist ending, can be be almost too much to "bear," but it is vital that we read on and internalize the hard-won lessons of this magnificent text. Bravo.
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