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When An Elephant Comes To School

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What happens when an elephant goes to school? Well he fits right in so he can learn, nap, paint, and dance, of course!

"When an elephant comes to school he may be shy at first. A special friend can show him where to put his lunch box."

The first day of school is hard, especially when you are an elephant. But with the help of some new friends, any elephant could get into the swing of things. Jan Ormerod's beautifully illustrated story, WHEN AN ELEPHANT COMES TO SCHOOL, is sure ...

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Overview


What happens when an elephant goes to school? Well he fits right in so he can learn, nap, paint, and dance, of course!

"When an elephant comes to school he may be shy at first. A special friend can show him where to put his lunch box."

The first day of school is hard, especially when you are an elephant. But with the help of some new friends, any elephant could get into the swing of things. Jan Ormerod's beautifully illustrated story, WHEN AN ELEPHANT COMES TO SCHOOL, is sure to delight and dazzle any child with excitement and imagination. What would your child do if an elephant came to his or her school?

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Booklist 6/1/05 PreS-6r. 2. An endearing elephant is going to school for the first time. What will it be like? An unseen narrator informs children that the new student may be a bit shy. Someone should show him the location of the bathroom and where to put his lunch box. In succeeding spreads, the elephant is shown sharing, doing arts and crafts (rather messily), listening to stories, resting, and finally going home. Adults may think that this is a book to acclimate children to school-and, in a way, it is. But it is also just what it seems on the surface-a book about one particular student's new experiences. Smooth, off-white pages provide the background for watercolors depicting the elephant cavorting across the spreads. Post-it-style notes point out special likes and dislikes. Some of the pictures have the effect of collage; the elephant especially has some heft. The rest of the watercolor pictures are filled with action, but they don't have much energy. Best for teachers, who can use the story to remind their students how to help newbies. -Ilene

Kirkus (Kirkus Reviews, June 15, 2005 (Vol. 73, No. 12))
Cass, the quirky, self-confident girl who appeared in Pollet's earlier Nobody Was Here (2004), about prep school life in the mid-1980s, is trying in eighth grade to sort out who she really is: orphaned child; invincible girl; third wheel? She's discovering that at 13 things start clanging around in disharmonious earnest. The garrulous boy seated behind Cass in English class seems to voice some of this turmoil. Rod is bold and not at all perfect, but their friendship is a gift, and his abrupt departure challenges Cass to try to find her own missing pieces. Pollet steers a neat and relatively innocent course through the troubled and murky waters of middle school. Readers will recognize Cass's lack of perspective and experience as their own, and there are moments enough of genuine warmth and humor that they will care what happens to her. 2005, Orchard, 160p, $15.95. Category: Fiction. Ages 10 to 12. © 2005 Kirkus Reviews/VNU eMedia, Inc. All rights reserved.
PW 7/11/05 Ormerod has demonstrated her psychological astuteness with titles such as I Am Not Going to School Today! , and this quality shines through once again in this tale, aimed at allaying readers' first-day jitters. Posing as a manual to help children welcome an elephant student into their classroom, the book allows Ormerod to bolster and flatter youngsters' own sense of confidence. "When an elephant comes to school... he may be a bit shy at first," reads the text, as a boy and teacher greet the bashful pachyderm. The boy points out a hook in the cubby where the elephant can hang its lunchbox, and also the classroom's small toilet (this prompts the first of the book's many helpful hints, which appear in a box reminiscent of a Post-it note: "Show him the bathroom right away"). As the day proceeds, Ormerod depicts the elephant growing more exuberant and emotional than his young classmates, all of whom exude a soothing calm. But while the elephant covers himself with paint during arts and crafts time and gets a boo-boo ("When he falls, make a big fuss over him"), he is embraced by his peers and eventually settles into the rhythm of the classroom. The underlying message is that readers will as well. Reassuring in its simplicity and sensitivity--and funny to boot--this is a must-read for any family with a newly minted student. Ages 4-8. (July)

SLJ 8/05ORMEROD, Jan. When an Elephant Comes to School. illus. by author. unpaged. Scholastic/Orchard. 2005. Tr $16.95. ISBN 0-439-73967-5. LC 2004019797.
PreS-K–Elephant experiences a typical first day of school. He feels shy, but begins to relax as he makes friends and joins in the various activities. Standard components of a preschool day, such as arts and crafts and music, or even helping and quiet time, take on additional humor and whimsy as Elephant creates a shoe-box elep

Publishers Weekly
Ormerod has demonstrated her psychological astuteness with titles such as I Am Not Going to School Today!, and this quality shines through once again in this tale, aimed at allaying readers' first-day jitters. Posing as a manual to help children welcome an elephant student into their classroom, the book allows Ormerod to bolster and flatter youngsters' own sense of confidence. "When an elephant comes to school... he may be a bit shy at first," reads the text, as a boy and teacher greet the bashful pachyderm. The boy points out a hook in the cubby where the elephant can hang its lunchbox, and also the classroom's small toilet (this prompts the first of the book's many helpful hints, which appear in a box reminiscent of a Post-it note: "Show him the bathroom right away"). As the day proceeds, Ormerod depicts the elephant growing more exuberant and emotional than his young classmates, all of whom exude a soothing calm. But while the elephant covers himself with paint during arts and crafts time and gets a boo-boo ("When he falls, make a big fuss over him"), he is embraced by his peers and eventually settles into the rhythm of the classroom. The underlying message is that readers will as well. Reassuring in its simplicity and sensitivity-and funny to boot-this is a must-read for any family with a newly minted student. Ages 4-8. (July) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
It is elephant's first day of school. As one would expect, he is a wee bit nervous. Who will he play with? What types of things do they do at school? Will he like it? Will he miss his mom too much? Well, from the minute he walks into his classroom, elephant knows all of his worries were unfounded. The children quickly make him feel at home and are more than happy to show him the ropes. Elephant loves everything about school, from the science experiments to movement to arts and crafts. He joins right in and makes friends at every turn. But watch out at lunchtime because elephants have a pretty big appetite and if you are not careful, you might find your sandwich missing. But even with all this fun, elephant still loves to see his mom at the end of the day. This book is great for children just starting school for the first time or for those starting at a new school. The text is funny and silly and the illustrations are beautifully done. This is a great book for preschool-age kids and is a nice read all around. 2005, Orchard Books, Ages 4 to 7.
—Emily Cook
School Library Journal
PreS-K-Elephant experiences a typical first day of school. He feels shy, but begins to relax as he makes friends and joins in the various activities. Standard components of a preschool day, such as arts and crafts and music, or even helping and quiet time, take on additional humor and whimsy as Elephant creates a shoe-box elephant, cavorts with a tambourine, strings lunch boxes on his trunk, and uses his voluminous ear as a blanket for a napping child. The text is clear and simple, punctuated by boxes containing sage advice ("Show him the bathroom right away"). The illustrations have clean lines and cheery colors. While not an essential purchase, this is a serviceable book for those needing additional material to help calm first-day jitters.-Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
When an elephant comes to school, well, he's an awful lot like a new kid, especially when the other kids are humans. This elephant needs help in finding where to put his stuff; he needs lots of hugs; he loves story time and quiet time; he steps on toes by mistake, but he has his strengths, too, like giving science experiments an extra oomph and being a good ball handler. Elephants don't like to share, though the other kids have learned the knack and so will he. Moreover, he loves to see his mom appear at the end of the school day. Ormerod's light, busy artwork projects emotion and energy and fits snuggly with a story about awkwardness met by acceptance and inclusiveness. So the next time a new kid comes to your school, treat him like an elephant. (Picture book. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780439739672
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/1/2005
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 11.12 (h) x 0.32 (d)

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