Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev & Taeeun Yoo


This is a very special book about friendship, belonging and inclusiveness explored through the actions of a little boy and his pet elephant.

The picture of the boy carrying the reluctant elephant over the footpath cracks with the solid determination of helping a friend in need, is a beautiful allegory of the meaning of true friends and a deeper realisation that life will be spaced with cracks but is made so much easier when we have loved ones whose care will carry us through.

That’s what friends do: lift each other over the cracks.

The boy and his pet elephant are excluded from ‘Pet Club’, the sign on the door ‘Strictly No Elephants’ really hurts. Followed is a  blue and rainy double page spread with no words, filled with dark umbrellas. The boy and his elephant stand out in this illustration with their red scarves and the boy’s yellow shirt. Around the corner, there’s a forlorn looking girl who was also rejected from the pet club, in a red and yellow dress, sitting on a bench with a skunk in her lap. See if you can spot a boy with a porcupine in a window above, who also looks sad. The colours on this page are promises of hope not lost.

Elephant boy and skunk girl strike up a conversation which leads to the creation of their own club. As they head towards the park, where they find a tree house for their club, they are joined by a group of kids with unusual animals for pets. You can see a penguin, an armadillo, a bat and more. They make a sign for their club too, and it says

 All Are Welcome.

A beautiful book that will touch your hearts!


INSTRUCTIONS: When you find a word, click on the first letter, then click on the last letter, so simple! Find all the words!!

[game-wordsearch id=”1769″ ]


Suggested age: Read aloud to 3+. Read by self 5+. Recommended for an intermediate reader.

Published by Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers, Hardcover.


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