Every week I write about the books that we read for my son. He is currently 4 years old and loves a good book! I am not a professional book and illustration reviewer or critic, but I can write about the book, what I think about it, and how our son reacted to it.
What the Book is About
“Elephants Walk Together” tells the story of two elephants–Precious and Baba–elephant siblings who belong to the same family. They walk together with family. One day, hunters capture them and bring them to a circus. Precious and Baba had to learn tricks for the circus. Though it was difficult, they had each other. Through the decades, they grow up until the circus decides to break them up. Precious ends up in a zoo while Baba continues to perform in a circus.
The zoo director eventually grew concerned of Precious’ situation and takes her to a sanctuary, where she heals and starts walking again. Then one day, out of the blue, Baba walks into the sanctuary, and together, they walk again.
Title: Elephants Walk Together
Author: Cheryl Lawton Malone
Illustrator: Bistra Masseva
Published by Albert Whitman & Company
Text Copyright 2017 by Cheryl Lawton Malone
Illustration Copyright 2017 by Albert Whitman & Company
No. of pages: 32 pages
About the Author & Illustrator
from the back flap jacket:
When Cheryl Lawton Malone isn’t meeting whales, she spends her time thinking about elephants and other animals that need our help. She holds a JD in law and an MFA in creative writing. Her publication credits include her first picture book, Dario and the Whale. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two wheaten terriers. Visit her at www.cheryllawtonmalone.com.
Bistra Masseva grew up in Bulgaria and later moved to the United Kingdom to study design and illustration at the University of Brighton. In addition to her work, Bistra also loves doing calligraphy and hand-lettering. She lives in Brighton. Find her online at www.bistramasseva.com.
Values or Lessons
“Elephants Walk Together” shows the importance of family and being together. Precious, Baba, and their family used to be together. Because of circumstances beyond their control, they separated. Eventually, they got back together.
The book also shows the sad plight of animals in the wild–hunted and then brought to places where people train them to perform away from their natural habitat. Although Precious was cared for in a zoo, it was not her natural home, which is why she suffered.
The topic of animal abuse and performances is a delicate one and it may make children sad and concerned about animals. Concern about animals is a good thing, but be prepared to talk with them about this sensitive issue.
On the story, too, it was not clear how Baba ended up in the same sanctuary as Precious. The story does not say.
The artwork is good. They depict well the colors of the wild, as well as the elephants. Some pages look like watercolor paintings.
Overall, this book is a good introduction to kids about the importance of taking care of animals. The story may make some little ones sad, but it ends in a hopeful note–Precious and Baba are reunited after a long time of separation.