Elephants Swim


An eye-catching and informative look at how animals behave in water.
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An eye-catching and informative look at how animals behave in water.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A simple yet extremely clever introduction to animals and the way they respond to water. . . . A delight from start to finish." Booklist, ALA, Starred Review

"Richly colored, highly textured collages depict a variety of animals in the water. A single line of fluid, gently rhyming text is carefully placed on each double-page spread to describe the animal and its aquatic behavior: ea otters sleep in a cradle of kelp. / Squid swim backwards, jet-propelled. Notes at the back provide additional information about the animals and their water habits." -- Copyright © 1996 The Horn Book, Inc. All rights reserved. Horn Book, Fanfare

Children's Literature - Dia L. Michels
Elephants swim underwater and use their trunks like snorkels. Sea otters wrap themselves in a cradle of kelp so they won't drift off while sleeping. Hippos can sleep underwater, but they must come to the surface every 5 minutes to breathe. Elephants Swim is a beautiful book for young children. It uses rhymes and full color collages to introduce us to how 16 animals behave in the water. The text is simple, the illustrations are enchanting, and the endnotes give us more details on the behavior of each animal.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-Elephants swim gracefully, holding their trunks out of the water as snorkels. But what do other animals do? Sixteen wonderfully diverse animals, each with its own way of dealing with water, plunge, paddle, and propel themselves across the double-page spreads. Richly textured, full-color paper collages are accompanied by short rhyming sentences. ``Hippos sink to the bottom to sleep. Wildebeests wade where the water's not deep.'' The point here: there are many ways to swim. ``How about you?'' readers are asked at the end. Notes illuminating further facts about each animal's water habits follow. The writing is clear, straightforward, and will stimulate further interest. However, the arbitrary use of male and female pronouns seems forced. ``An elephant swims with her whole body,'' and ``seven minutes after a baby wildebeest is born she can run.'' Armadillos and polar bears are referred to as ``he.'' Nevertheless, the writing is sound and the beauty of the collages alone make this a welcome addition to any collection.-Lisa Wu Stowe, Great Neck Library, NY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395934890
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 10/28/1998
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 411,401
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD330L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.81 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.13 (d)

Meet the Author

Steve Jenkins has written and illustrated many nonfiction picture books for young readers, including the Caldecott Honor-winning What Do You Do with a Tail Like This? His books have been called stunning, eye-popping, inventive, gorgeous, masterful, extraordinary, playful, irresistible, compelling, engaging, accessible, glorious, and informative. He lives in Boulder, Colorado with his wife and frequent collaborator, Robin Page, and their children.

Linda Capus Riley is the author of three nonfiction titles for children and a certified SCUBA diver. She's swum with sharks, giant rays, and sea lions, come face-to-face with an octopus, and would rather be underwater than most other places. She has a Master of Arts in Communications from Temple University, and is an award-winning journalist.

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