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Uncle Elephant (I Can Read Level 2) Paperback – October 9, 1986

4.6 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Arnold Lobel (1933-1987) was the award-winning author and illustrator of many beloved children's books, including the classic I Can Read books about Frog and Toad, and the Caldecott Medal winning Fables.



Arnold Lobel (1933-1987) was the award-winning author and illustrator of many beloved children's books, including the classic I Can Read books about Frog and Toad, and the Caldecott Medal winning Fables.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 330L (What's this?)
  • Series: I Can Read Level 2
  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1 edition (October 9, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0064441040
  • ISBN-13: 978-0064441049
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,383 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on December 19, 1999
Format: Paperback
I discovered "Uncle Elephant" from a video that I rented for my toddler son, "Frog and Toad Together". There was a song "Count to Ten" that featured the "Uncle Elephant" character and it was so delightful that I went and got the book from the library. It is easy reading and is heartwarming. His wrinkles and cane remind you of a long-missed grandparent.
The book consists of several small stories, so it does not demand much of an attention span so you can read this book to a child who is too young to read and it's simple sentences are a good book for a new reader. It's very charming!
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Format: Paperback
this funny, sad, and thoughtful story of a little elephant who loses his parents in ship wreck is a great book to talk with your young children about loss and family. Little Elephant must go to stay with his Uncle. Many adventures ensue, as well as lil elephants understanding of older folks. A surprise awaits lil elephant and the end and you'll find yourself shedding a tear for good old Uncle Elephant.

Good for boys or girls-up to about 8 years.

5 stars!
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Format: Paperback
Adults say this is a book that deals with loss. I'm sure that when my daughter is older, she will see it that way. She does not now. That is one of the beautiful things about this entertaining, wonderful book - that the aspects of loss in this book are presented in a way that they can be completely ignored by children who aren't ready, acknowledged by children who are just discovering these ideas, and can be discussed with older children.

I think it is inaccurate to say this is a book "about loss." This book is written from the child's perspective, and it is primarily a book about his visit to his uncle. As an adult, we catch what is going on - the child's parents are lost at sea - presumed dead - and his uncle (although I think it is the parent's uncle) comes to take a nephew he has never seen to live with him. But that's not what the book is about, and that's not what your child takes away from it. It is just a delight watching the two elephants interact.

I don't want to spoil the ending. Darn - I want to talk about it.
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Format: Paperback
Uncle Elephant was by far my daughter, Nikki's favorite book of childhood. It is a timeless tale of love, devotion, and the true meaning of family.

When she was in first grade, Nikki wrote to Arnold Lobel. He wrote back to Nikki and even hand drew a picture of Uncle Elephant for her. It is a treasure.

The message of the book is a simple one - the love we have and show each other can sustain us even in our darkest hours, giving us hope and strength to face - and even find joy in- the day.
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It would be very difficult to choose a favorite Frog and Toad (or related) book by Arnold Lobel. Each one has meaning for both the adult and the child. However, I was particularly touched and delighted by this wonderful story of the relationship between the older Uncle and the young nephew. In a simple story Lobel portrays the special way that an older adult loves the younger generation. I give this book as a present to the adults as well as the children. I recommend that the adult read the book to the child in one sitting, and be prepared for an extremely touching and meaningful ending to the story. This story cannot be told often enough. To me it involves the way in which the child gives the gift of life and re-generation to the oder generation. It explains why the adult needs the child as much as the child needs the adult. Those days that Uncle Elephant spent with his nephew were so meaningful that Uncle Elephant would count them over and over again. Perhaps you will begin to count the days you spend with your children in order to better appreciate the value we receive from them. Uncle Elephant may have many wrinkles, but his heart is large and filled with love.
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Arnold Lobel is a quintessential children's author and his books make for fun reading for the adult as well as the child. My kids enjoyed these books when they were much too young to read them for themselves, and then later enjoyed them again as they read them to themselves. Now we're buying them for my little nephew, and I'm sure I'll buy them again when I have grandkids!
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Format: Paperback
Arnold Lobel's books are part of the regular diet in our house and the recent addition of uncle Elephant looks to be a worthwhile one. It'a caring and sensitive story that deals with the unhappy disappearance of parents without becoming sentimental. My son listens intently and asks me to repeat specific sections: when uncle trumpets the morning: "varoomaroom" (in your best elephant voice), and when he composes a cheerful song for his nephew (sing it to any tune you like and change a word or name here and there), it picks up everyone's spirits and the happy ending makes it fine for bed time.
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My original exposure to this book was a copy from our local library that we checked out to read to our (then) young children. A few years later, I saw that copy in the used books for sale shelf at the library (it was rather worn). I bought it, and it now sits in the bookcase I reserve for our "better" books. This is a book we often purchase as a gift for new parents (or grandparents, as that's more of our social set these days) asking for advice on nice books for children.

This is an exceptional book on many accounts. The story itself is lovely. Mr. Lobel had a writing style that will appeal to the intended customer, but in no way tax the narrator/reader (except for the last chapter, that can still make me a bit misty-eyed).

When asked to rate a book here, the guidance for five stars is "I love it", and four stars is "I like it". For me, the five star rating was an easy choice
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