Find Out about Elephants with These Terrific Books


Find Out about Elephants with These Terrific Books


I just learned that World Elephant Day is August 12 and I’m glad I did. World Elephant Day gives me the perfect excuse to read lots of elephant books. This is a good thing! I’ve loosely listed the books in order of reading difficulty.



by Kate Riggs

This is the most basic of the books in this post. Each two-page spread has a wonderful elephant photo plus 1-3 sentences. This would be a perfect introduction for young children.



by Sydnie Meltzer Kleinhenz

Another basic information book, this one has two-page spreads that contain a photo, 2-3 sentences in English, and the same sentences translated into Spanish. There are glossaries in both English and Spanish.



by Melissa Stewart

Clear text and outstanding photos give lots of information about elephant bodies, family life, and behavior. It also covers threats to elephants. Similar book: Elephants by Julie Murray


watch me grow

Watch Me Grow: Elephant

by Lisa Magloff  (sorry, no link)

Each page describes the life of a young elephant, written in first person. Extra elephant information is also included in sidebars.


ballet of the elephants

Ballet of the Elephants

by Leda Schubert, illustrated by Robert Andrew Parker (sorry, no link)

Ballet for elephants? Yes! Back in the 1940s, a circus owner asked George Balanchine, a choreographer, to create a ballet for elephants. Balanchine then asked Igor Stravinsky, a composer, to write the music for the ballet. The ballet was danced by 50 elephants and 50 ballerinas. In all, they performed the ballet 425 times. It’s a true story and told in a lovely book.


Tarra & Bella: The Elephant and Dog Who Became Best Friends

by Carol Buckley

Tarra  was once in the circus elephan. After 20 years of entertaining, she went to live in the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee so she could live in the wild. One day Tarra met a dog, Bella. From their first meeting, they were inseparable. This book tells of their friendship and how Tarra remained a faithful friend when Bella got hurt. This is a terrific true story.


A Baby Elephant in the Wild

by Caitlin O’Connell, photographed by Caitlin O’Connell and Timothy Rodwell

The author has spent the last 20 years studying elephants. This book includes her observations of a baby elephant as it interacts with its family and learns how to survive. The photos and information are wonderful.


100 Things You Should Know about Elephants

by Camilla de la Bedoyere (sorry, no link)

By using short description, this books supplies information about elephant relatives, physical characteristics, behavior, families, and more. The photos and other illustrations nicely go along with the taxt and make each page very reader-friendly.



by Ian Redmond

Like all DK Eyewitness Books, this book is packed with information. Each two-page spread is about one topic (What is an elephant? Elephants on tiptoe; Tool-teeth; Keeping cool; Elephants as tanks; and 24 more). You can read this book cover-to-cover or skip around and read what interests you.


Elephants Under Pressure: A Cause and Effect Investigation

by Kathy Allen

This well-written book describes problems elephants encounter, gives background information, shows likely causes, and suggests possible solutions. The last pages include a glossary and more resources. For grades 3 and above.


Top 50 Reasons to Care about Elephants

by Mary Firestone

Designed for grades 5 and above, this book provides information about elephants and gives reasons to care about them such as, Elephants have been here for millions of years. Elephant tusks are great tools. Elephants are smart. All elephants are threatened. The ivory trade hurts elephants.


Happy elephant reading!




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