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The Elephant's Child School & Library Binding – April, 1988

ISBN-13: 978-0833517524 ISBN-10: 083351752X

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School & Library Binding, April, 1988
$64.19
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • School & Library Binding
  • Publisher: San Val (April 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 083351752X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0833517524
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 10 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,855,663 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

I got the "again!" plea from her, which is always a good sign.
GluedTogether
All in all, a nicely rollicking story, and a good introduction to another classic in English-language children's literature.
John D. Faucher
The pictures are wonderful and the story is perfect for young and old.
Lolita Browning

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book was recommended by our wonderful musical teacher. We gave our 3 year old daughter the video narrated by Jack Nicholson (music by Bobby McFerrin) for Xmas and she just loved it and begged for the book, which she has now almost completely memorized. It's a delightful story about a curious and independent minded young elephant who follows his imagination and gains tremendously as a result. This book introduced us to the wonderful world of Rudyard Kipling books for children that answer some of their "why" questions.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A.Trendl HungarianBookstore.com TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 14, 2006
Format: Paperback
One of the most original tales in the English language, "The Elephant's Child" by Rudyard Kipling is published again, this time with pictures by Lorinda Bryan Cauley. The book has been around since 1983, and still holds its own in style.

From time to time, during visits to the zoo, have you wondered why an animal has a certain feature? Giraffes have long necks. Why? Monkeys have feet that are a lot like hands. Why? And, elephants have extraordinarily long noses. What good is that?

Kipling knew why and took time to tell us. With the refrain explaining where it all happened, by "the banks of the great-green, greasy Limpopo River, all set about with fever-trees," Kipling shows us what fun alliteration can be.

While in pursuit of an array of questions, especially what crocodiles eat, a young elephant -- an Elephant's Child, goes on a journey to the Limpopo to find out. His quick to spank him relatives don't encourage him to go so much as force him to, fully geared with little red bananas.

Loaded with naivete and his next meal, he heads out. He meets a bi-colored-python-rock-snake and the crocodile who not-so-politely gives him the answer, and the Elephant's Child returns to explain on his own terms what he learned.

A generous mix of black and white, and color pen and ink drawings frame the story. As imaginative as Kipling's words, Cauley's pictures will tease readers to wonder about the animals and exotic jungle and river.

Versions of "The Elephant's Child" abound, as the original tale is part of public domain. Be sure to get an unedited, uncorrected version, as modern editors lack the brilliance Kipling was blessed with.

I fully recommend "The Elephant's Child" by Rudyard Kipling, and this version is worthy of the story and your shelf.

Anthony Trendl
editor, HungarianBookstore.com
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John D. Faucher on October 24, 2002
Format: Paperback
Kipling's language is almost poetic. It's meant to be read aloud. When read aloud to a child, say, a beloved girl of six, at bedtime, she stops fidgeting, she listens carefully, she asks questions about what this word means or why the family members are all so mean and have to spank the little elephant with the "'satiable curtiosity." Most of all, she's not bored and she wants to hear it again. And again. And she gets very excited when she finds out that her daddy got the whole series of "Just-So Stories."
I don't know how other children experience this. We're starting to teach our daughter about evolution of species; she asks a lot of questions about what elephants used to look like, and did they really once not have the really long noses they have today? I think she's starting to understand that this is a tall tale, but it's a great springboard for talking about the real-life origin of species (I think this statement is true even if you're trying to raise a creationist child).
Yes, there is a lot of spanking. It didn't seem to upset my daughter, and she's pretty high-strung.
All in all, a nicely rollicking story, and a good introduction to another classic in English-language children's literature.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Shanna A. Gonzalez on October 28, 2009
Format: Paperback
Kipling's Just So Stories are literary classics characterized by a wonderful sense of humor and brilliant use of language. In this illustrated version of one, a young elephant (equipped with an abbreviated trunk "as big as a boot") is filled with curiosity, although his family and relations try to drive it out of him through much spanking. He asks endless questions in the manner of small children, receiving many spankings for his trouble, until he hits on a question that provokes a torrent of spanking: "What does the crocodile have for dinner?" Undeterred with this response, he sets out to find out the answer. What happens when he meets the crocodile is a surprise, but he gets a long trunk as a result. He uses this trunk to spank all of his relations upon his return home, and they head off to the river to get their own trunks lengthened.

The young elephant is often confused about why he is being spanked, which provides quite a poor model of adult discipline, since children receiving consequences should always know exactly what standard they have violated. Later, he returns the favor, providing a deliciously naughty fantasy that may be a little too appealing to children inclined to rebellion. Parents will need to be discerning as to whether their child can grasp the story's ridiculous tone. But for a child who can grasp the humor of this pseudo-folktale, it ought to provide an enjoyable flight of imagination.

The book is beautifully illustrated by Lorinda Bryan Cauley (who also illustrated Clancy's Coat), with alternating color and black-and-white drawings. Kipling's original text is retained in full. Because the language is difficult, it may be most appropriate for more advanced listeners or readers in the 4-8 age range.
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