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Elephants Can Paint Too!

( 1 )

Overview

I teach in two schools.
One is in the city.
The other is in the jungle.
Some of my students have hands.
Others have trunks.

Elephants live in Asia. They eat three hundred pounds of food a day. They spray water out of their trunks. Even so, they are a lot like you. They ...

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Overview

I teach in two schools.
One is in the city.
The other is in the jungle.
Some of my students have hands.
Others have trunks.

Elephants live in Asia. They eat three hundred pounds of food a day. They spray water out of their trunks. Even so, they are a lot like you. They like to eat cookies and hang out with their friends. They even like to paint pictures.
In this true story you'll learn about an amazing class of elephants that are taught to become artists by an amazing teacher.

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Editorial Reviews

Temple Grandin
This is a wonderful book for parents to read to young children. It tells the true story of elephants trained to make paintings. "I teach in two schools," Katya Arnold writes. "One is in the city. The other is in the jungle. Some of my students have hands. Others have trunks."
— The New York Times
Children's Literature
Arnold, an artist, teaches in two schools. One is in New York City and the other is in the jungles of Thailand. Her city students are children learning to paint large bold pictures. Her jungle students are elephants learning the same. Full color photographs on facing pages show the similarities of the students (both human and animal) and their artwork. A simple, concise text explains facts about elephants informing the reader that they eat about three hundred pounds of food a day and drink thirty-five gallons of water. The most interesting facts relate to their artistic abilities. Elephants have 150,000 muscles in their trunks so they can easily hold a paintbrush and move it in specific ways. Some drag the brush over large pieces of paper to make bold marks; others dab bits of colors here and there. Few paint actual objects, although sometimes elephants may create pictures of flowers or other natural things in their environment. Pictures painted by children and by elephants appear side by side throughout the book. An author's note explains that Asian elephants have been trained to help people since ancient times, but now their labor is no longer needed. These domesticated animals are in danger of dying out. Thus, the Asian Elephant Art and Conservation Project was organized. This nonprofit organization is dedicated to saving the elephants. Exhibiting and selling the elephant's art provides the main source of revenue. 2005, Anne Schwartz Book/Atheneum, Ages 5 to 9.
—Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-When Thailand recently began to conserve trees that previously would have been harvested, domesticated elephants lost their jobs hauling lumber. Subsequently, many died of neglect because they could no longer earn their keep. This book highlights an unusual project implemented by the author. In simple text, she explains that she teaches art in two schools, one urban and one in the jungle, and that some of her "students have hands. Others have trunks." Then tells how she trains elephants to paint and compares the work of her human and elephant pupils. The spare narrative is easy to understand and reads like a picture book. Additional facts about the elephants and techniques are provided in boxed sections. This title demonstrates animal behavior in a similar style to Ron Hirschi's Dance with Me (Penguin, 1995) and Bert Kitchen's Somewhere Today (Candlewick, 1992; both o.p.). Arnold's amusing and colorful photographs-of elephants and children at work-will have readers laughing as they view them side-by-side. This fun-to-share offering would make a creative segue into a discussion about the plight of endangered species. An author's note provides information about the project and explains that the paintings are sold under the auspices of the Asian Elephant Art and Conservation Project to obtain revenue that can support the efforts to save these wonderful creatures.-Kirsten Cutler, Sonoma Library, CA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Art teacher Arnold, together with her artist husband, embarked on a project to support the diminishing number of Asian elephants. Traveling to Thailand, India and Cambodia, they trained 30 elephants to paint and supplied their keepers with materials and ideas to keep the project in place. Arnold recounts, in alternating text and photographs, the basics of teaching art to children and elephants, exploring similarities and differences between the two groups. Students use their hands while others work with their trunks; some like peanut butter and jelly, while others eat grass. But in art class both can express their talent by painting with dots, bright colors and strokes in their own style. Remarkably, the elephant paintings parallel the artwork of the children quite well, including one bouquet that is amazingly realistic. Additionally, Arnold intersperses some interesting facts about the elephant's natural behavior. Beautiful photography displaying children, elephants and artwork set in a well-designed layout of large multi-colored text, coupled with green boxes filled with facts in a bold black font, add to the book's unique subject matter and appeal. (Nonfiction. 6-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689869853
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 9/28/2005
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 369,966
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Lexile: AD660L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 11.30 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Katya Arnold was born in Moscow and became an artist at age twelve. She has written and illustrated many books for children, including Baba Yaga: A Russian Folktale and Me Too!: Two Small Stories About Small Animals. She has also written two nonfiction books, Let's Find It!: My First Nature Guide and Katya's Book of Mushrooms, drawing on her passion for the natural world.
When she is not writing and illustrating, Ms. Arnold teaches art to children at Saint Ann's School in Brooklyn and to elephants in Thailand through the Asian Elephant Art and Conservation Project, an organization founded by her husband, the artist Alex Melamid. She lives in New York City with her family.

Katya Arnold was born in Moscow and became an artist at age twelve. She has written and illustrated many books for children, including Baba Yaga: A Russian Folktale and Me Too!: Two Small Stories About Small Animals. She has also written two nonfiction books, Let's Find It!: My First Nature Guide and Katya's Book of Mushrooms, drawing on her passion for the natural world.
When she is not writing and illustrating, Ms. Arnold teaches art to children at Saint Ann's School in Brooklyn and to elephants in Thailand through the Asian Elephant Art and Conservation Project, an organization founded by her husband, the artist Alex Melamid. She lives in New York City with her family.

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