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The Elephant's Child

The Elephant's Child

3.6 9976
by Rudyard Kipling, Tim Raglin (Illustrator)

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Because of his "satiable curiosity" about what the crocodile has for dinner, the elephant's child and all elephants thereafter have long trunks.


Because of his "satiable curiosity" about what the crocodile has for dinner, the elephant's child and all elephants thereafter have long trunks.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Curiosity stops just short of being deadly in this adaptation of the Kipling classic. ``In the High and Far-Off Times'' when elephants sported short, ``bulgy'' noses, a young pachyderm full of ``satiable curiosity'' sets off to discover what crocodiles eat for dinner. After a rousing tug-of-war with the Crocodile himself, the Elephant's Child walks away with a new and improved (and quite sore) elongated trunk. Bolam's well-paced version of the tale is sure to perk up the ears of inquisitive listeners. Unfortunately, the text's understated action and gentle humor are overshadowed by random violence--the other animals spank the Elephant's Child whenever he asks a question, and the Elephant Child's new trunk is eventually used to spank them back. Bolam's bright, primitive paintings boldly contrast with airy white backgrounds, and the jungle animals' childlike facial expressions are particularly engaging. Ultimately, though, Kipling's writings remain too sophisticated for the picture book set. Ages 5-up. (Jan.)
Children's Literature - Gisela Jernigan
This story has been around for a long time and has been a perennial favorite of children. The language, of course, is marvelous. The story of the elephant child and his great curiosity, which resulted in his finally getting his very long and most useful nose as well as providing the means to avenge himself, is amusing. The illustrations, however, seem too strange and don't really go with the story that well. 1995 (orig.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-5The complete text of Kipling's classic story is illustrated with a dozen stylish but murky paintings all monotonously presented on the right-hand page. The main character is depicted in parta trunk here, a backside thereand in muted and subdued colors that draw the eye, if only to identify what is going on. As decorations rather than revelations, these paintings may free listeners to imagine their own pictures. However, for literal-minded children, Lorinda Bryan Cauley's illustrations (Harcourt, 1983) or Emily Bolam's fresh pictures for the truncated version (Dutton, 1992) are still better bets.Susan Hepler, Alexandria City Public Schools, VA
Kirkus Reviews
Sinuous lines make a unifying visual motif for Patterson's dark, richly colored pastels in this lightly abridged version of the classic tale. Young Elephant, deep blue and with a black knob on the end of his nose like a bowling ball, satisfies his "'satiable curiosity" (changed from "curtiosity") about what crocodiles have for dinner by traveling to the great, grey-green, greasy Limpopo River (no longer "hung about with fever trees") to ask, then returns to spank all of his abusive relatives with his permanently stretched-out trunk. The original's actual language remains unchanged (with the exception noted above), and the removal of occasional phrases or sentences makes so little difference that it seems superfluous. The art is more inviting than the strange scenes in John Rowe's edition (1995), but in the end, this one is extra, considering the several other abridged versions available, and the full one illustrated by Lorinda Bryan Cauley (1983). (Picture book/short story. 6-9)
From the Publisher
With vibrant illustrations, the text has been abridged for a younger audience.
Children's Literature - Mary Bowman-Kruhm Ed.D.
Although abridged, this version about the baby elephant who, like all elephants then, had a bulbous nose, preserves the integrity of the whimsical and witty words in Kipling's original story. The Elephant's Child was "full of ?satiable curiosity." Like other word choices, a synonym for insatiable might have lowered the reading level but would have done harm to the charm of Kipling's tale. Wisely, word choice and syntax pattern the original. When the Elephant's Child continually asks his relatives endless questions, they respond by spanking him. The Ostrich uses her "hard, hard claw," the Giraffe his "hard, hard hoof," the Baboon his "hairy, hairy paw," and so on. After receiving a round of spankings when he asks what the Crocodile eats for dinner, he sets out to discover the answer for himself. The Kolokolo Bird tells him, "Go to the banks of the great grey-green, greasy Limpopo River and find out." Crocodile promises to whisper the answer if he comes close and then catches him by his little nose and pulls. With help from Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake, Elephant's Child escapes but his nose is much stretched. The Snake wisely points out the advantages, Elephant's Child returns home to retaliate for his spankings by using his long nose to get back at his relatives, who eventually troop off "to the banks of the great grey-green, greasy Limpopo River to borrow new noses from the Crocodile," and no one spanked anyone after that. Patterson's illustrations are striking. Vibrant colors creatively splash across the book's pages with visual delight as the flow of the Kimpopo River mirrors the elephant's trunk and Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake. One can imagine youngsters' squeals of delight with each turning page of this charming and gorgeously illustrated introduction to Kipling. Reviewer: Mary Bowman-Kruhm, Ed.D.

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Knopf Book and Cassette Classics Series
Product dimensions:
10.24(w) x 9.45(h) x (d)
Age Range:
5 Years

Meet the Author

Rudyard Kipling(1865-1936) was a Nobel Prize-winning English writer who today is best known for his wonderful children's stories, which have become enduring classics of children's literature.Geoffrey Patterson began his career in interior design and worked as a set designer with the BBC for 13 years. He was a lecturer in illustration at Suffolk College and has published many books for children. In 1986 he won the Smarties prize for The Goose that Laid the Golden Egg. He lives in Norfolk.

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The Elephant's Child 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9976 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have to say this book is really charming. The illustrations, the story, the characters make it an excellent read and the audio narration is superb.
Weightlifter More than 1 year ago
While waiting in a doctor's office, my six-year-old had fun with this book. He used the nook's 'read it to me' feature, which allowed him to enjoy the story without having to grapple with the words just yet. The story is fun and entertaining. Animal fables are great, and Rudyard Kipling really gave the reason why elephants have trunks a fun spin. Read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Super good, especially for a free Book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When i read this book, i felt something. Not an actual object. More if a feeling. I was a little kid again. I was comforted by little things in the story. The elephant reminds me of myself. I am very curious and i always want everything to be yes or no. I get confused when i get maybes. I like knowing the plan. I dont like surprises. Books like this one are great because they are predictable. Movies are kind of predictable. Books are easier to understand. You know what the character feels, you know how you would react. This book is one if the besdt in a long time. If yoou liked this book, try Matilda by Roald Dahl. He is amazing. His words just blend perfectly together, leeavingg you eanting more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Halley Bennett More than 1 year ago
My two year old cousin loves it! Really helps when baby-sitting! :p
Lilpalmemo More than 1 year ago
My 2 year old gand-daughter loves this story and after a few times using the "read it to me" feature, she can now recite along with it, word for word! The perfect way to spend a rainy Saturday afternoon with her. Thank you Nook Color!
Myrah Chappell More than 1 year ago
My 3yr old has me read it over and over! It's her first pick every night before bed. I have to read it at least twice before she'll let me leave her bedside! And it's the first thing she talks about in the morning. I love the voice of the man who reads it! So full of life and exciment. I'm very happy to have it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My 3 year old wants me to read this over and over again! Would recomend highly
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a good free book... the misspelled words are part of the effect of the crocodile biting down on the elephant's nose... IT IS OK... the kids won't spell the words wrong on a test... calm down people!!!! I like this book. READ IT TO YOUR CHILDREN because children like stories about elephants. I like elephants, don't you? Elefun the elephant.....u
MableAF More than 1 year ago
I really like how Kipling's classic has been formatted for the Nook. Wonderful, colorful illustrations keep my son's attention whether I'm reading it to him or having the Nook read it to him!
eschlick More than 1 year ago
The story is cute, a classic fable of how the elephant got his trunk. But the illustrations are beautiful and utilize the full capability of the ColorNook. If you own a ColorNook and you have children, you must get this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im 14 and this book is amazing!!!! Haha i love it!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My cousin and I love to use this book because you can record yourself. I show this book to my 2 month old brother and he actually looks at the pictures. It is really cute. I got it free with my Nook Tablet and it hasnt frozen or anything. Its really cute.
Gracie7 More than 1 year ago
everytime my granddaughter sees I have my nook color she asks to read the animal book! se sit together and once I get it to the right spot she does the rest! I had the Nook 3G and I loved it. when nool color came out I knew the colorful pages would appeal to her. We read the other too but nookcolor is more fun!
Vicki_loves_Vamps More than 1 year ago
I"m 14. I LOVE THIS BOOK!! great time passer!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is my daughter's favorite. She loves the, "Read to Me," function of this story. Great story line, funny, with bright pretty graphics. Someone said the words are not spelled right, that is not true. The only words not spelled right are in one short sentence after the alligator grabs the elephants nose. The words are spelled for the effect of the story (how your words would sound if your nose was being pinched).
JoEllen Sheldon More than 1 year ago
My 4 year old loves this book! She "reads" it over & over.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful childrens book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think this is a good fictional story for kids. I also think that it is a great bedtime story for kids and that the pictures are funny. The narrator reads this story funny. If I had to grade this book I would give it an A+. Truely remarkable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book because it was free and you can record then when your child wants to read it he or she has the voice of some one else they know telling the story
kimberly schultea More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book it is soooo funny and cute. I 99.5% sure they made a movie but I'm not sure. I like how in the end his whole family appriciates him and believes in him. Great funny book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well as a 10 year old it was very easy to read but good for first time readers
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is great its readible educatinol for smaller children
Kiana Smith More than 1 year ago
I liked the book and i think its very interesting!