Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Picture Books
Elephants Never Forget

Elephants Never Forget

Spring 2008 Picture Books
Ages: 4 - 8 yrs.
Author: Anushka Ravishankar
Illustrator: Christiane Pleper
ISBN: 9780618997848
Hardcover Price: $16.00
In the wake of a terrible storm, ("Crraack! Flash! BOOM!") a little elephant finds himself alone in a frightening world. Attacked by a group of mean-minded monkeys (Cccrrack! A coconut hit him on the head.") he runs away in a panic. At the edge of a stream, he encounters a herd of water buffalo and tags along with them, escaping a fearsome tiger in the process. Gradually, inter-species cooperation earns him a real place in the herd and when a group of thirsty elephants happens upon this unlikely family frolicking in the river, he must make a choice as difficult as Solomon's. The rhyming text carries the story forward with only an occasionally awkward bump, but the real strength lies in the illustrations by Christiane Pieper. Using a two-color palette, purple and black, set against creamy textured paper and employing a dramatic hand-lettered font, the wood-block style pictures are vivid and exciting, the perfect embodiment of wild animals in their natural habitats. Young readers will not only see but feel the smallness of the abandoned baby, the roar of the gigantic tiger, and the enormous satisfaction of belonging to a like-minded if not like-looking clan.
Kristi Elle Jemtegaard   ©2008 Parents' Choice
Kristi Elle Jemtegaard is the Coordinator of Youth Services for the Arlington Public Library system. She has taught courses on children’s and young adult literature at the Catholic University of America and the University of Virginia. She has served on both the Newbery and Caldecott Award Committees of the American Library Association and has chaired the Notable Children’s Recordings Committee and the May Hill Arbuthnot Award Committee. She is a member and past president of the Children’s Book Guild of Washington DC and has chaired the Washington Post–Book Guild Nonfiction Award Committee. She is a founding member of Capitol Choices, an organization of professionals in the field of children’s literature in the greater Washington DC area. She regularly reviews children’s literature and audio productions for a variety of national publications.

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Houghton Mifflin/Walter Lorraine Books

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