“'There's cold chicken inside it,' replied the Rat briefly; 'coldtonguecoldhamcoldbeefpickledgherkinssaladfrench

'O stop, stop,' cried the Mole in ecstacies: 'This is too much!'”
-- from
The Wind in the Willows

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Elephant's Story ▪ Picture book

written and illustrated by Tracey Campbell Pearson
October 22, 2013   Margaret Ferguson Books / FSG   Ages  4-8
A book about letters and words forming a friendship you will never forget.
Story:  The day Gracie loses her favorite book, Elephant finds it. He sniffs the words ONCE UPON A TIME THERE WAS and--oops--they go up his trunk, where they wiggle and jiggle and make him sneeze.  The letters fly through the air helter skelter, and when Elephant tries to put them back together, he can't figure out how to make the right words that fit.  He asks his friends for help, but they just choose some of the letters to make up their own words--Aligator wants to CHEW them, Seal SPINs them, Monkey THROWS them, and Bear just SNOREs.  Lucky for Elephant, Grace comes looking for her books.  She makes the letters into the right words and then adds some of her own.  
Children ages 3-7 will love following befuddled Elephant as he works to right the book; they'll enjoy finding letters throughout, reading the words of his friend, and clap when Gracie comes to the rescue.  Plus young readers might just be inspired to create a few words of their own along the way.  
Story behind the story:  With over 35 books for children and countless awards from Parenting magazine, Parents’ Choice, Time magazine and starred reviews from top literary magazines and more, there’s no doubt that author-illustrator Tracey Campbell Pearson gets kids. She understands what it takes to get a child to say, “Read it again, please.” With both carefully chosen words and chock-full-of-energy illustrations, Pearson tells her stories with a pace and rhythm that has kids anxious to turn the page to see what’s next – and she throws in a bit of humor to keep them laughing along the way. So, where did ELEPHANT'S STORY come from?

Ideas come from the strangest places; here, it all started with a phone message from a librarian who called Pearson to see if she’d create a logo for a literary program featuring an elephant. With elephants, letters, and words on the brain (and perhaps a memory of carrying around a favorite book when she was a child), Pearson turned the logo request into a new book. 

DOWNLOAD an activity kit filled with a word scramble, maze, Elephant and Gracie finger puppets, color Elephant letter sheet and more.  

Want to meet the author-illustrator? Tracey's on the road this fall, drawing Elephant and Gracie everywhere she goes.  Maybe she's coming to your area?  See this schedule.

Look!  Elephant has been selected by booksellers nationwide to grace the cover of their annual BEST BOOKS FOR CHILDREN catalog!


"A sweet, funny story—though not without its awkward moments—with a metafictive theme that should entertain." -- Kirkus Reviews

"Pearson’s humorous illustrations are drawn with a loose flowing line. An overlay of light watercolors brings to life Elephant’s expressive face. Endpapers show him making the letters of the alphabet with this body. A lighthearted picture book for storytimes about friendship, cooperation, or books." -- School Library Journal



NMills said...

I loved Elephant's Story! What a sweet book. The spinning letters are wonderful. A great introduction to letters make words and words make stories. 5 out 5

MB said...

I was charmed by Elephant's Story. I loved the words each animal created and how they were suited to each individual animal. I would recommend it for K and 1st grade. I only wish it was a tad bit longer.

Picnic Rating: 4

Turlock, CA

Susan said...

A sweet story that beginning readers and writers will relate to. How do you make sense out of a jumble of letters? Thank goodness Gracie saves the day by helping elephant make put the book back together. The become friends in the process. A good read for Pre-K and Kindergarten.

Kathleen Moriarty said...

Kindergarten teachers will love this alphabet themed book.

Kathleen Moriarty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Perfect addition to primary lessons on cooperation and friendship.

Mrs. Null said...

What a clever way to celebrate the magical flexibility of letters and word building. A sweet little girl, a book that starts with Once upon a time, and a sneezing elephant with a trunk full of letters will capture the readers interest and invite you along to join elephant seek some help from a few friends. The pencil and pen drawn thin lines and muddled grey tone watercolor illustrations is balanced by a few lines of text on each page. I am especially fond of the end papers, which presents elephant shaped into every letter of the alphabet. Young readers will enjoy finding the letters of their name on the end papers, matching the elephant letters and building automaticity with letter ID.