Tusk Tusk

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Once elephants came in two colors: black or white. They loved all other creatures, but each set wanted to exterminate the elephants that were not the same as themselves. Peace-loving individuals ran and hid in the deepest jungle, and battle commenced. The war-mongers all succeeded. For a long time it seemed that there were no elephants in the world at all, not of any color. But then the descendants of the peace-loving ones emerged from the jungle, and by now they were all ...
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Overview


Once elephants came in two colors: black or white. They loved all other creatures, but each set wanted to exterminate the elephants that were not the same as themselves. Peace-loving individuals ran and hid in the deepest jungle, and battle commenced. The war-mongers all succeeded. For a long time it seemed that there were no elephants in the world at all, not of any color. But then the descendants of the peace-loving ones emerged from the jungle, and by now they were all gray.

After the white elephants and the black elephants kill each other off, the grey descendants of those nonfighting elephants who hid during the war emerge, only to eventually find new differences to set them against each other.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Two bands of elephants, one black and one white, ``loved all creatures, but they hated each other.'' Each group keeps to its own side of the jungle, until a war breaks out between them, and the peace-loving elephants from both sides take cover in the jungle. After a bitter battle, all the elephants lay dead; no elephants are seen for many years. One day the descendants of the peace-lovers emerge: ``They were grey.'' The book ends on an ironic note as members of the new grey breed notice that they fall into two groups once again, each with differently shaped ears. The stylized renderings of the elephants and their environs make this straightforward book about prejudice easier to digest in an allegorical sense; the story becomes both accessible and illuminating. In clear, bold illustrations that celebrate shape and color, McKee incorporates several witty touches: the elephants' trunks become weapons, the ``darkest jungle'' is portrayed as a giant maze. Although the book stands on its own merit, it might also offer an excellent point of departure for discussion between parent and child. Ages 5-10. (Mar.)
From the Publisher

"A first lesson in tolerance. The illustrations are exceptionally ingenious. . . the colors are especially lovely."  —Times Educational Supplement

"David McKee's versatility is astonishing."  —School Librarian

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780613519625
  • Publisher: San Val, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/28/1990
  • Pages: 28
  • Product dimensions: 7.82 (w) x 9.34 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

David McKee's first book was published in 1964. His books are now published in many languages throughout the world, and many of them have been adapted for television. He is one of the leading contemporary children's book creators.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Very interesting in this new day and age

    This book was obviously written by a hippie! The grey elephants sit around and look at psychodelic butterflies after the black and white elephants kill each other. I thought it was a bit odd to read about the blacks wanting to kill the whites and the whites wanting to kill the blacks.....but my kids didn't read and hear it the same way I did. They loved it! It just goes to show how forced "PC" my generation has become and how little we know about the generations before us and their struggles. This book is just a tiny drop in the bucket of seeing how people of the time it was written; really felt and saw things.

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