On August 12 World Elephant Day asks us to help conserve and protect elephants from the numerous threats they face.
It is not hard to feel empathy for elephants. It is not hard to get very young children interested in elephants either. There are so many picture books and short novels for young children that introduce them to some of the difficulties faced by elephants. Recently a group of students and I shared Queenie by Corinne Fenton and we had a long discussion about whether or not elephants should be used to 'ferry' people around zoos. The World's Greatest Elephant by Ralph Helfer is a good book to share to discuss whether elephants should be part of a circus. One Step at a Time by Jane Jolly and Faithful Elephants by Yukio Tsuchiya allow children to see how elephants can be innocent bystanders in a war.
Two chapter books that my Year 2 and 3 readers enjoy, but are moved to talk about are Tua and the Elephant by Randall Harris and Akimbo and the Elephants by Alexander McCall Smith.
There are so many wonderful books to introduce children to the marvels of elephants, both expository texts and faction, where they can learn about their life in the wild and what threatens their existence.
For more elephant picture books look here.