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Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite
In Elephant, Please! by Maureen Kauzlarich, when a little boy decides that the perfect pet for him would be an elephant, he thinks finding one will be easy. He dreams of all the exciting things he and his new elephant pet can do together. He imagines how much fun it would be to ride around on his elephant whenever he wants. The little boy visits the local pet shop and is disappointed to find that there are no elephants there. He discovers that all the elephants live in a place called Africa so he takes off on an adventure to find one he can bring home. However, when he arrives, the little boy realizes that an elephant would not really make a good pet and should be allowed to remain in their natural habitat surrounded by other elephants where they can live freely.
I love children's books that teach the young reader a powerful life lesson and Elephant, Please! by Maureen Kauzlarich is a perfect example of this. The colorful illustrations are exceptional and the expressions on the characters' faces display their personalities excellently. I thought the rhyming style of the book was ideal for children to remember the message and also to read along with an adult. The story has so many areas of additional discussion opportunities that an adult can share with a child. The importance of empathy towards nature and animals, why we should protect endangered species and preserve their natural habitat. In addition, children will also learn about the importance of conservation and why it is sometimes better to place others' needs above your own. A wonderful book which should be on every child's bookshelf.