What the Elephant Heard

Welbeck. Nov. 2021. 64p. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781913519322.
K-Gr 2–The African savanna is home to myriad animal species, including majestic elephant herds led by wise older matriarchs. As humans have begun to affect this important space, elephants and other creatures have had to adjust their travel and behavior accordingly. Human-led alterations have caused water and land to become scarce, and with the additional risk of poaching, the overall survival of elephants in coming years is being called into question. This nonfiction work is especially accessible to young children due to its excellent use of rhyming meter and limited text on each page. It’s a great candidate for reading aloud, as children will discover the beauty and intelligence of elephant herds while coming to recognize the factors that threaten elephants on a daily basis. The spare text is well placed, drawing readers’ eyes to the lovely illustrations that dominate each spread. The cover itself features a dramatic view of an elephant, and a variety of savanna dwellers appear throughout. These images have soft lines and textures, creating a whimsical backdrop for the narrative. At the end, readers will find a selection of facts about elephants, information about the brave people who protect them, and invitations for wildlife preservation in readers’ own communities.
VERDICT This heartfelt book combines important facts with a charming presentation to educate a new generation about protecting elephants around the world.

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