Posts tagged ‘elephants’

YOU GOTTA BELIEVE

Rusty and the Circus of Doubt

Written by G. Russell Reynolds

Illustrated by Sherrie Molitor

 

Rusty The Elephant lives in the circus. As a young boy, Rusty believed that he was destined for greater things. The Circus Boss berates Rusty when he doesn’t act like a “normal” elephant. All the other animals bully him. Over time, Rusty begins to lose confidence in himself. One night he cries out for help. A monkey appears and informs Rusty that he has the key to Rusty’s freedom. This monkey works step by step to encourage self-confidence and independence in Rusty. Soon Rusty no longer cares what the other animals think of him. Will Rusty ever achieve his dreams?

This International Book Excellence winner contains beautiful illustrations and a message to encourage children who experience a lack of self-confidence and fear of not fitting in with the crowd. While the book is targeted at children in the six to nine-year-old age group, I feel it is appropriate for older children as well. Well-written and highly recommended for all ages.

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ELEPHANT ENLIGHTENMENT

Charlie the Smart Elephant: Books for Kids: Bedtime Story, Beginning Reader

Written by Jeff Harris

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Short tale of less than twenty pages featuring Charlie the Elephant, an intelligent but hungry elephant who was born in a small town somewhere in Africa, but who longs to live the life of a pet in a cozy family. One day he is adopted and placed in a stray animal shelter where Charlie finds the company of other animals. He is delighted when a boy named Connor adopts him; and the family builds a separate house for the elephant. Then Charlie becomes sad because he has everything he needs and is bored. Charlie rejoices when he overhears two pet dogs talking about their cookies being missing. So Charlie decides to become a detective and solve the missing cookie mystery. Following the cookie crumbs, Charlie comes to a deep forest. Should he enter the forest and risk becoming lost? Will he solve the mystery and return to his family?

This book is charming and sweet for a bedtime story, and beginning readers will be able to handle the text, but the plot does not always flow smoothly or connect the dots. Children might have questions that go unanswered. A few simple illustrations are included. Targeted for readers ages two through fourteen, I would recommend it as a bedtime story for preschoolers or as a beginning reader for a child who enjoys stories about pets.

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A BAD DREAM

National Park (National Park Trilogy Book 1)

Written by Hinesh Vithal

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An interesting tale narrated by Rajah, a puggle comfortably ensconced with the Patel family in suburbia. When the family decides they will take a vacation trip to the game preserve, he is excited but remains haunted by a dream that his life will be cut short by a lion attack.

Readers will learn about life in the wild as they meet lions, cheetahs, elephants, rhinos, crocodiles, buffalo, and wild dogs. As the family ride through the game preserve, readers feel as if they are a part of nature. The personified animals have a complicated system of government to which all inhabitants of the national park adhere led by a Council of the Big Five. When the vehicle in which Rajah is riding is overturned, he is injured and rescued by the animals. Rajah becomes an integral part of a habitat that is far out of his comfort zone, yet he is rapidly assimilated into their culture and conflicts. When internal discord threatens to wreck the government of the animals and their safety, Rajah becomes an unwilling hero.

This book contains one or two curse words, but is appropriate for readers twelve and older. The plot is cleverly done, if sometimes a bit wordy. Readers will take away factual knowledge of the game preserve, its inhabitants, and some messages that animals and humans might well take note of. Looking forward to see what happens in the rest of the trilogy.

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FLASH OF WHITE LIGHT

The Triumph

Written by Frank Scozzari

TheTriumph,pic

Powerful short story centering around a Mozambique guide named Mowambi and his white friend, Mr. Rick. They had almost reached the top of the rise in their plan to escape the white safari hunters, but now Rick is dead and Mowambi has been shot.

Beautifully written tale expressed in Mowambi’s voice as he explains their passion for stopping the killing of elephants for their ivory. They had almost succeeded; now the end is near. Yet Mowambi comes up with a scheme to thwart the hunters’ objectives.

This short story is appropriate for readers age ten and older. Less than twenty pages, but packed with emotion. Many a reader will shed a tear as the author makes his readers one with the characters and with nature. Certainly deserving of its nomination for the Pushcart Prize.

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