If you guessed that we love children’s books about elephants here at Happily Ever Elephants, you guessed correctly! Here are some of our very favorite kids books about these majestic, lucky animals!
Children’s Books About Elephants – What’s Not to Love?
Elephants – it’s hard not to love them, and here at Happily Ever Elephants, we don’t just love them, we celebrate them, especially children’s books about elephants!
How did our blog’s name come about, you ask? Leave it to a three year old who loves to read— and who one night innocently confused “happily ever after” with “happily ever elephants.” We’ve been gleefully shouting that phrase at the end of every story ever since, and the rest is history.
We’ve put together a list of our favorite children’s books about elephants, because every child needs a fabulous story about this adorable animal in his library, right?
So without further ado…
Our Very Favorite Children’s Books About Elephants – FICTION!
A Parade of Elephants, by Kevin Henkes: Henkes, as always, just gets it with this adorable counting book! He knows the formula that works to capture the hearts of our littlest readers. With its musical prose, muted palette, crisp clean pages and expressive elephants, your kids won’t even realize they are counting and learning their opposites as they read.
When Your Elephant has the Sniffles, by Susana Leonard Hill and illustrated by Daniel Wiseman: Uh oh. Your elephants has the sniffles. Better make sure he doesn’t sneeze! You’ve got to take really good care of him, so get your tissues, your pillows, and whatever else you can to make your elephant feel better. But make sure you don’t get too close – you don’t want to catch your elephant’s cold! Absolutely delightful!
Elmer, by David McKee: This is a forever favorite picture book about elephants, a sweet story about an elephant whose brightly colored hide is like a patchwork quilt! It’s no wonder the other elephants stare and laugh. Maybe if he looked just like the other elephants, Elmer wouldn’t get laughed at so much. One day, Elmer finds a disguise. He quickly realizes, though, that things are kind of dull when he blends into the crowd. A beautiful, classic story about self-esteem and self-acceptance, we just adore this one!
Ellie, by Mike Wu: When the animals learn the zoo they live in is closing, they band together in an effort to save it. Ellie, at first frustrated as she doesn’t know how she can help, soon discovers that she, too, possesses a great gift. But will it be good enough to keep the zoo open? This sweet story celebrates the beauty of finding and harnessing our own unique talents.
Have You Seen Elephant?, by David Barrow: Elephant wants to play hide and seek- and he warns his sweet friend that he is really, really good at the game. This book will have you and your little ones in fits of giggles as the pictures totally contradict the text– the boy is truly astounded that he can’t find the elephant, yet the reader can see that the elephant is virtually in plain sight. A simple, fun read with beautiful illustrations that will give all of your family a laugh!
Little Elliot, Big City, by Mike Curato: First off, Curato’s Elliot, complete with pastel polka dots, may be the cutest story-book elephant ever. And the story is even sweeter still, about the beauty of friendship and helping a pal in need. The illustrations are not to be missed!
Strictly No Elephants, by Lisa Mantchev: It’s Pet Club Day, but what happens when a little boy and his pet are barred from participating because there is a sign on the door that reads “Strictly No Elephants”? This is a fabulous story to teach tolerance, imparting an important message of inclusion in a manner tangible to young children.
Zola’s Elephant, by Randall De Seve and illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski: When Zola moves into the neighborhood, her new neighbor is too shy to go introduce herself and say hello. After all, Zola has an elephant to play with, so why would she need a new friend? Things aren’t always what they seem though, and sometimes, the things we imagine may not be reality. By summoning a bit of courage, two little girls embark on a new friendship that leads to an imaginary world they can discover together. Zagarenski’s stunning art will forever be a Happily Ever Elephants’ favorite!
Horton Hears a Who, by Dr. Seuss: Who doesn’t love Horton?! We love the rhyming couplets in this book, which make it a fantastic read aloud. And there is nothing like Dr. Seuss to unlock your child’s imagination. This book is no exception, as little ones will clamor to make noise along with the “who’s” in the book, and examine every speck of dust in your house looking for invisible creatures and civilizations. A must!
Elephant and Piggie: We Are in a Book, by Mo Willems: It’s hard to pick just one Elephant and Piggie book because each book in the series is truly special. Special and absolutely outstanding. Here, Elephant and Piggie discover just how cool it is to have their words read aloud. In this work of metafiction, Willems delivers another book perfect for the whole family, especially early readers with its large text and print awareness. Willems’ works always wins, and this zany story will have you and your tiny readers eager to pick up another book in this remarkable series!
When an Elephant Falls in Love, by Davide Cali, illustrated by Alice Lotti: When an elephant falls in love, he experiences many of the same emotions as the rest of us: he’s giddy with joy and weak with anticipation. He’s left feeling equal parts shy and bold, and sometimes a little bit foolish too. There’s nothing like first love!
Interrupting Chicken and the Elephant of Surprise, by David Ezra Stein: In this sequel to the Caldecott Honor Book, Interrupting Chicken, everyone’s favorite little red chicken can’t wait to tell her father what she learned at school: every great story has an elephant of surprise! Or is it an “element” of surprise, as Papa tries to explain? The little red chicken insists she is right and Papa sets out to convince her otherwise. After all there are definitely no elephants in Rapunzel or The Ugly Duckling. Or are there? This work of brilliance and hilarity cracks us up every single time!
Humperdink: Our Elephant Friend, by Sean Taylor and illustrated by Claire Alexander: What happens when a baby elephant goes to a children’s playgroup? He just wants to play with the other kids, of course. But when he breaks the slide and has a tough time playing hide and seek, Humperdink realizes that playing with the other kids might not be as easy as he thought, and sadness takes over. Yet, with some imagination — and some understanding — the kids and Humperdink all realize that playing together may not be as hard as they thought… and it may just be loads of fun, too!
Our Very Favorite Children’s Books About Elephants: NONFICTION!
The Elephant, by Jenni Desmond: Did you know elephants walk on their tip toes? Or that they can detect the rumbling of other elephants from nearly six miles away? We absolutely adore Jenni Desmond’s non-fiction offerings, including The Blue Whale and The Polar Bear, and this beautiful children’s book about elephants is another stunner filled with gorgeous, true-to-life illustrations and fascinating facts for little minds.
How to be an Elephant: Growing Up in the African Wild, by Katherine Roy: African elephants are the largest land animals on earth — yet despite this startling fact, it is not easy for them to live in the Savanna! This beautiful and informative work of nonfiction gives a glimpse of life into the family dynamics of an elephant herd and describes how the baby elephants find their place within their family, how to survive and how to thrive.
The Truth About Elephants: Seriously Funny Facts About Your Favorite Animals, by Maxwell Eaton: This is a playful and informative book about elephants that will answer some of the most fascinating questions about elephants. Do their tusks ever stop growing? Do they really have six sets of teeth throughout their lives? If you like your nonfiction with a side of humor, this is the book for you!