Elephants! Strange and Wonderful

Boyds Mills. Aug. 2021. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781635924794.
Gr 4-7–The elephant has been a powerful and important figure in human culture for centuries. Depicted on the walls of caves in prehistoric times, used in combat, and a mainstay of zoos around the world, elephants are universally recognizable and revered. The three remaining species of elephants live in Africa and Asia, and while they look similar, there are marked differences among them. No matter what, though, elephants have unique ways of communicating with one another, build strong family bonds, and are at great risk of disappearing because of human interference. This nonfiction picture book is packed with facts and information about elephants, including their physical attributes and their importance in global human society. Blocks of text appear on each page, making this book best suited to older elementary school and middle school-age readers. Though the amount of text may initially feel overwhelming, manageable sentences and familiar vocabulary help readers navigate the wealth of information presented. Potentially new terminology stands out in bold font and is defined in a glossary at the end of the book, where further resources are also listed. Watercolor and pencil illustrations depict elephants in a variety of settings as they live, work, and play together throughout their lives. The blend of images and text in this book enhances readers’ understanding of the elephant and its complex existence.
VERDICT This is an important and detailed inclusion for any library collection emphasizing conservation and the study of elephants.

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