Dumbo, the live action Disney movie is airing soon and I’m so excited about this remake that I’ve created a list of books about elephants! I remember watching this 1941 cartoon on VHS tape as a child and tearing as Dumbo’s mother sings and rocks him on her trunk as they say good bye.
I’ve rounded up the best children’s books about elephants, so you can introduce these magnificent animals to your child. Here’s my list of my favourite picture books about elephants.
1. Small Elephant's Bathtime by Tatyana Feeney
Does your child hate bath time? If so, let this adorable elephant family help!
Small Elephant loves water, except when the water is in a bath. Mummy uses various incentives such as toys and bubbles to entice him, but nothing works. Small Elephant goes into toddler meltdown until Daddy squeezes into the tub as a role model and provides much laughter for Small Elephant.
2. Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev
Today is Pet Club day. Children with cats, dogs and fish are invited, but elephants are strictly not allowed. The boy and his elephant decide to start their own Pet Club where animals of all shapes and sizes are welcomed, along with their child owners.
Books that celebrate diversity have an important place in your child’s reading list as they encourage embracing differences in others and themselves.
3. When Anju Loved Being An Elephant by Wendy Henrichs
A book for children 7 years and up, as it references the real lives of elephants which are stolen from the wild and forced into a life of performing in cages.
Anju is an old elephant who has spent decades in a traveling circus, entertaining crowds. She is then moved to a small zoo as their lone elephant. Lonely and tired, she yearns for the early years in Sumatra with its cooling lakes and refreshing mud holes, where she lived with her herd. Will Anju ever love being an elephant again?
This is a more serious story, but one that is important, with elephants still endangered due to the destruction of forests and poaching for their tusks. I can’t believe people are still buying tusks!!! Asian elephants are even more endangered than their African counterparts, with only 40,000 elephants alive in 2018.
Featured books are suitable for children from 3 years and up.
All books featured are available in Singapore’s public libraries.