I Am Elephant

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Elephants, with their matriarchal societies, long memories, and demonstrations of emotional connections, are some of the world's most treasured animals. However, they are also among the most threatened. It is up to humans to protect them before it is too late.

Interest Level Grade 1 - Grade 4
Reading Level Grade 2
Copyright 2021
BISACS JNF042000, JNF051100, JNF003070
Genre Fiction, Picture Books
Publisher The Creative Company
Imprint Creative Editions
Language English
Number of Pages 32
ISBN 9781568463780, 9781640006201, 9781568463780B
Title Format Hardcover, Hosted ebook, Print + Ebook
Release Date 2021-08-01
Author J. Patrick Lewis
Illustrator Miriam Nerlove
Features Index, Informative sidebars, Table of contents
Dewey 599.67
Graphics Full-color illustrations
Dimensions 8 x 10


“Abundant, stylized watercolor drawings of elephants are accompanied by a sparse text in which an elephant narrator presents scattered information about both African and Asian elephants.
The book itself is well crafted, with an appealing layout on sturdy, high-quality, glossy white paper. The large, sans-serif print stands out expertly, and the complementary art is reproduced in colorful, detailed glory. This attention to production and the limited number of poetically arranged words—none of which are scientific—make the book appear to be a young child’s introduction to a representative of a magnificent, endangered species. Indeed, most of its initial text and art support this idea. For example: “Someday, I will be like my mother and grandmother—slow-motion majesty.” Nice, too, to learn the Greek derivation of elephant and to have passages citing positive references to the animals from both Hindu and Buddhist traditions. However, the penultimate and final double-page spreads take a deeper, darker turn in both text and art. Instead of a sweet ending to lull children into bedtime, it is the stuff of nightmares. There are other, better books that will encourage children’s interest in elephant conservation, including Elephants Walk Together, by Cheryl Lawton Malone and illustrated by Bistra Masseva(2017), and Thirsty, Thirsty Elephants, by Sandra Markle and illustrated by Fabricio VandenBroeck (2017), for the youngest, and The Elephant, by Jenni Desmond (2018), for slightly older readers.
Lyrical and disturbing.”

Illustrator: Miriam Nerlove