Ella the Elegant Elephant

( 5 )


She's younger than Babar, shyer than Lily, and every bit as cute as Olivia. Look out! Here's ELLA! Read along to this heart-warming tale of acceptance and help kids build important reading skills!

Ella's counting the days until the first day of school ... but not because she's eager to start! On the contrary, as the littlest elephant on Elephant Island, she's terribly nervous about the other kids she'll meet. Then she receives a beautiful red hat that belonged to her ...

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She's younger than Babar, shyer than Lily, and every bit as cute as Olivia. Look out! Here's ELLA! Read along to this heart-warming tale of acceptance and help kids build important reading skills!

Ella's counting the days until the first day of school ... but not because she's eager to start! On the contrary, as the littlest elephant on Elephant Island, she's terribly nervous about the other kids she'll meet. Then she receives a beautiful red hat that belonged to her grandmother -- her new lucky charm. Big mean Belinda at school teases her for it, calling her "Ella the Elegant Elephant." But Ella's brave enough to hold on to her hat, and in the end, the hat (and her heart) save the day.

Ella is nervous about the first day of school in her new town, but wearing her grandmother's good luck hat makes her feel better--until the other students tease her and call her names.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

School Library Journal
November 1, 2004

PreS-Gr 2-A young elephant is new to town and anxious about starting school. On her first day, she wears her grandmother's fancy "good luck hat," causing a bully named Belinda and her friends to dub her "Ella the Ella-gant." When Belinda slips on the safety wall that surrounds the schoolyard and protects the students from a very big drop, Ella attempts a rescue only to slip and fall herself. Fortunately, the lucky hat acts as a parachute, transporting Ella and Belinda to safety. The next day, the entire class, bullies included, sports fancy hats, and a message on the chalkboard reads, "We love Ella." With its charming and whimsical cartoons and simple design, this offering seems like a picture book from an earlier era. Ella is a likable character, and children will be able to relate to her emotions. Unfortunately, the story is nothing new and the text may be a bit long for some youngsters. Despite these shortcomings, parents who are nostalgic for Jean de Brunhoff's The Story of Babar (Random, 1937) will appreciate the D'Amicos's kinder, gentler elephant tale.-Rachel G. Payne, Brooklyn Public Library, NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

November 1, 2004

K-Gr. 2. On the Elephant Islands, "hidden by fog so thick no human being has ever found them," shy little elephant Ella, new to town, worries about school and making friends. Ella loves her big red hat, a special gift from Grandma, but wearing it the first day of school brings teasing, especially from big bully Belinda. But when Belinda's antics put her in a dangerous situation, Ella steps in to help--and is surprised to discover that her hat is more special than she thought.\b \b0 Combining a fairy-tale quality with elements in story and setting that will be familiar to children, this has a charming protagonist, as well as lovely, whimsical art, in a soft, rich palette and style that evokes the work of H. A. Rey and recalls Ludwig Bemelmans' Madeline 0 in its rows of students clad in identical blue uniforms and "Ecole" written over the school gate. The text is simple, descriptive, and often lively, making a good read-aloud. Listeners will sympathize with Ella's challenges and appreciate the rewards that come from her showing compassion and staying true to herself. --Shelle Rosenfeld Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publishers Weekly
October 4, 2004

Followers of Jean de Brunhoff and Ludwig Bemelmans may experience deja-vu upon reading the D'Amicos' debut. Ella, a Madeline-ish young elephant, possesses a WWII-era flair and lives in a faraway realm: "Somewhere in the great, wide Indian Ocean lie the Elephant Islands, hidden by a fog so thick that no human being has ever found them." Ella's rocky islands protrude from the ocean like terra-cotta turrets, topped with multicolored minarets. Inside this exotic city, bipedal elephant villagers shop at whitewashed, clay-roofed stores like a "Tuskery" and peanut emporium. On her first day at the island "ecole," Ella wears a navy-blue uniform like her peers, but chooses to sport her grandmother's "good luck hat," a floaty flame-orange number that trumps her classmates' austere caps: "The teacher asked if she wouldn't mind sitting... in the back row, so she wouldn't block the other students' view of the chalkboard." Ella's fashion statement soon attracts a bully's attention. Only at recess, when a mishap atop the city wall reveals the hat's magical, parachute-like properties, does Ella achieve acceptance. The memorable characters and setting transform a familiar tale of nonconformity; Steven D'Amico's soft, sinuous colored-pencil line and plush palette recall H.A. Rey's illustrations. The Elephant Islands would make a promising locale for future adventures, and the appealing Ella-who's simply drawn yet unique, like Charles M. Schulz's Woodstock-could easily adapt to new stories and m

School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-Written by Carmela D'Amico and illustrated by Steven D'Amico (Arthur A. Levine Books, 2004), this is the story of Ella, a young elephant starting a new school. Ella is nervous about going to school until she receives a present from her grandmother, a grand red hat. Ella wears her hat and school uniform to school, and Belinda, the biggest child in the class, bullies Ella and makes fun of her and her hat. The bullying continues until the day that Ella and her hat save Belinda from nearly falling off the school's safety wall. When Ella arrives at school the next day, all her classmates are wearing big colorful hats and "We love Ella" is written on the chalkboard. Whimsical cartoon illustrations and narrator Annie Silver's voice and pacing complement this gentle tale, and background music enhances the telling. A worthwhile addition to collections serving young children.-Veronica Schwartz, Des Plaines Public Library, IL Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780439627924
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/4/2004
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 56
  • Sales rank: 125,695
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD620L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Ella the Elegant Elephant is the brainchild of the husband-and-wife team, Carmela and Steven D'Amico. Steven, with a strong interest in illustration, and Carmela, with a background in writing, had wanted to work together on a children's book project for years, even before they were married. Carmela explains, \u201cI was striving for something substantial enough to stand alone as a story, but would also serve to showcase Steven's talents.\u201d The idea of Ella the Elephant came to Carmela in a dream, and the couple developed the stories from there.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2004

    Ella is my granddaughter's new favorite!

    What a charming book! The lovely story and vivid illustrations held both my granddaughter and me captive! And, when we turned to the last page, she asked, 'Can we read it again, Grandma? Please!' I strongly recommend this book to anyone with young children who enjoy imaginative stories with endearing characters and rich illustrations that take you to another land. Utterly delightful book! We could not have enjoyed it more! Our only question is: when is the next one coming out?!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2007

    Fantastic and Yes, Elegant...

    This is just the sweetest book. It was on a table in my pediatrican's office. I read it while waiting for my daughter's appointment and fell in love. I was so excited to find that there are other Ella the Elegant Elephant books available, I had to write a review.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2004

    Wonderful, colorful, classical with a great moral

    Ella is so endearing and easy to relate to. The imaginative tale and beautiful illustrations are magnificent! I love the moral and the ending. A keeper!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2004

    Charming, timeless tale

    This book is beautifully illustrated and the story resonates on an emotional level, which is rare for a picture book, I think. Ella is just so cute! I really enjoyed sharing this book with my five year old daughter, Mia, who will be entering the first grade this fall. I reccommend this book to anyone who has a child around this age. Ella the Elegant Elephant has a very positive message about staying true to yourself in the face of adversity and being kind to others even if they aren't kind to you. In fact it reveals how often when you take those first steps toward initiating kindness, like magic, kindness will be returned to you. We thoroughly loved this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2010

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews

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