The Elephant in the Room
by Kara Gilbert
The month of September is full of wonderful things to celebrate: the beginning of autumn, the new school year, apples, cranberries and elephants. Yes, you read that correctly, elephants. September 22 is National Elephant Appreciation Day! Elephants are known for being extremely clever, social and kind. Show your appreciation for these amazing pachyderms by checking out a few of these books.
Learn all about elephants in 5 Elephants by Rob Laidlaw. This non-fiction book is full of facts about elephants, describes some of the challenges they face both in the wild and in captivity, and will introduce the reader to five famous elephants as it tells their stories.
Timothy Knapman’s picture book Soon tells the story of young Raju and his mother. This elephant duo embarks on a journey up a high mountain that begins before the sun is up. Along the way, they run into crocodiles, snakes and tigers, while Raju is continually asking, “When can we go home again?” This beautiful tale of a mother and child resonates with adults and children alike.
Where’s the Elephant? by Barroux gently brings awareness to the challenges that elephants face when forests are cut down to make room for houses, roads and cities. This nearly wordless picture book begins with a lush forest and asks the reader to find the elephant, the parrot and the snake. With each page, the elephant, parrot and snake become easier to find as more and more trees become stumps and houses and roads appear. This is a truly unique picture book that brings the issue of deforestation to the forefront in a subtle and accessible way.
In Have You Seen Elephant? by David Barrow a boy and an elephant play a game of hide and seek. The boy looks throughout the house as the elephant hides under blankets and behind curtains. The elephant is a “VERY good” hider, and the boy has a hard time finding him. Check out this book to see if you can find the elephant.
A Pair of Twins written by Kavitha Mandana tells the story of a girl, Sundari, the daughter of the mahout (elephant keeper) for the Raja and Lakshmi, an elephant calf. Sundari and Lakshmi are born just a few minutes apart, grow up together and develop a special bond. Sundari wishes to be the next mahout, but the job is reserved for her brother since only men are allowed to be mahouts. When the old elephant and his rider are unable to lead the Dussehra procession, these “twins” end up saving the day and making history as the first females to ride with the Goddess.
The Thank You Book by Mo Willems is the final installment of the delightful Elephant and Piggie Series. Piggie wants to thank everyone who has been a part of their fun, and sometimes silly, adventures, but Gerald is afraid that Piggie will forget
to thank someone very important.
Inspired by true events and a love of elephants, Michael Morpurgo’s novel, An Elephant in the Garden, tells the story of a devoted zoo keeper and her family in Dresden, Germany during World War II. When zoo officials decide that all large animals in the zoo must be shot if the Allies bomb Dresden, Lizzie’s mother convinces them to let her keep the orphaned baby elephant in her garden at home. When the city is bombed, Lizzie, her mother, brother and elephant begin the long journey to safety.
Events at the Henry Carter Hull Library
The Henry Carter Hull Library offers 10 different programs every week for preschoolers through 6th graders. Our newest offerings include Storytime Yoga on Tuesdays at 4 p.m. where we use stories and music to take us through some yoga poses. iStory on Wednesdays at 4 p.m. combines traditional book reading with apps, and there is also the Pokémon Go Club on Thursdays at 4 p.m.
For tweens, in grades 4-7, we offer a monthly Tween Time. On September 28 at 3:30 p.m. all tweens are invited to come play a rousing game of Quidditch.
For teens, in grades 6-12, we have two new weekly offerings: Cupcakes and Coloring on Mondays at 3 p.m. and After Hours Anime on Fridays from 4-7 p.m.
Don’t worry, grownups, we haven’t forgotten about you! POP weight loss nutritionist Kara Ganssle will talk about how to get back on track for a healthier you as we Fall Back Into Healthy Habits on Tuesday, September 13 at 6 p.m. We also have a Ladies’ Night In on September 23 at 6 p.m. We’ll watch The Boss starring Melissa McCarthy and get henna tattoos.
The Henry Carter Hull Library is located at 10 Killingworth Turnpike in Clinton. For more information about these or other programs, visit our website at hchlibrary.org or call 860-669-2342.
Kara Gilbert is the Director of the Children’s Department at the Henry Carter Hull Library.