Queenie: One Elephant's Story

Overview

The true story of one of the most famous elephants of all time: Queenie, the gentle Indian elephant.

Evoking a time when elephants were giving rides in zoos all around the world, the true story of Queenie follows her from her birth in an Indian jungle to Australia’s Melbourne Zoo, where she lived for more than forty years, giving rides to children. Thousands of kids loved Queenie, celebrated her birthday, and sent her letters. But in an event still not fully understood, Queenie ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (23) from $1.99   
  • New (14) from $9.49   
  • Used (9) from $1.99   
Note: Kids' Club Eligible. See More Details.
Sending request ...

Overview

The true story of one of the most famous elephants of all time: Queenie, the gentle Indian elephant.

Evoking a time when elephants were giving rides in zoos all around the world, the true story of Queenie follows her from her birth in an Indian jungle to Australia’s Melbourne Zoo, where she lived for more than forty years, giving rides to children. Thousands of kids loved Queenie, celebrated her birthday, and sent her letters. But in an event still not fully understood, Queenie crushed one of her keepers in late 1944. Was she mistreated or bored? Was it an accident? No one knows, but zoos have changed since Queenie’s time. Plainspoken and honest, this gentle account shows the good, the bad, and the evolution of zoo philosophy. Queenie’s story is a thought-provoking steppingstone for discussion of a complex, difficult topic.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Sarah Harrison Smith
Gouldthorpe's realistic illustrations and Fenton's carefully researched history give this tale due poignancy.
From the Publisher
All the tenderness, respect and fascination that people feel for zoo animals—and some of the cruelty that people inflict, too—resides in the pages of Queenie, a lovely, elegiac picture book... Peter Gouldthorpe's illustrations of Queenie's story are deceptively powerful...
—Wall Street Journal
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Hunters in India catch a young elephant and ship her to the Melbourne Zoo. There she is named Queenie and, when old enough, is used to carry passengers in a howdah on her back. She is so popular that on some days she carries more than five hundred people around the zoo. Some children leave her good things to eat, but others tease her. Still, she is the star of the zoo for years. But her ending is sad. By accident she kills one of her keepers. It is during World War II when food is scarce; feeding her is expensive. So she is "put to sleep." The book is much like a photo album, with naturalistic detailed acrylic illustrations of events with brief, caption-like text below. A sense of history is created by a design device: most pictures are partially incomplete and in color, with line drawings surrounding the central action suggesting looking back in time. Set more than a hundred years ago, the telling of this true story is infused with the emotion felt and expressed by the author. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 1–3—As a baby elephant, Queenie was stolen from her mother in India and transported to the Melbourne Zoo. At the age of nine, she was trained to carry passengers on her back for almost 40 years. Intelligent and well loved, Queenie was the main attraction at the zoo and an icon in Melbourne until she crushed one of her keepers in 1944. Whether it was an accident or not will never be known, but the tragedy, paired with a wartime food shortage, marked the end for Queenie, who was put to sleep in the summer of 1945. The truth is hard, and this historical tale is filled with sadness. The final spread introduces the natural habitat now provided for elephants at Melbourne Zoo and invites readers to remember Queenie in happier times in her native India. Hauntingly beautiful illustrations capture the time period and the affection and admiration bestowed upon her. Though the plight of decades of zoo animals can be found here, this is also a story about the love for one memorable animal. This title would best be shared with a caring adult with plenty of conversation to follow.—Heather Acerro, Rochester Public Library, MN
Kirkus Reviews
In this true tale of an elephant that crushed a keeper after peacefully giving zoo visitors rides for nearly 40 years, Fenton tones the drama down to near nonexistence (for better or worse). Arriving at the Melbourne Zoo as a youngster, Queenie began giving rides in 1905. She became such a fixture that children wrote her letters, her birthday was celebrated each year, and she even marched in the Centenary Floral Parade in 1934. After creating an endearing but not anthropomorphic portrait of her pachyderm protagonist, the author, warning that "Queenie's story has a sad ending," goes on to explain that even though the 1944 killing might have been just an accident, "the gentle Indian elephant was put to sleep." Furthermore, she was never replaced; the elephants in today's zoo occupy a habitat where they can "do just what elephants like to do." Neither the incident itself nor Queenie's end are specifically described or depicted, and Gouldthorpe's illustrations, which look like old, hand-tinted photographs, put a nostalgic distance between viewers and events. Sad indeed, but a little bland--though less traumatic in the telling than the stories of Jumbo or the Faithful Elephants (1988) killed at the Tokyo Zoo. (Informational picture book. 6-8)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763663759
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 6/11/2013
  • Pages: 24
  • Sales rank: 799,834
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Corinne Fenton is the author of more than fifteen children’s books, but Queenie: One Elephant’s Story is her first picture book. She is the Victorian coordinator of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She lives in Sydney.

Peter Gouldthorpe is recognized as one of Australia’s most versatile and skillful illustrators. He has received many awards and commendations for his work, including the Children’s Book Council of Australia Picture Book of the Year Award for Gary Crew’s First Light. He lives in Tasmania.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)