Elephant, Please!


Children - Animals
24 Pages
Reviewed on 08/18/2020
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Author Biography

Maureen Kauzlarich is a Filipina-American children’s author. She grew up riding her bike to the library every week to read all the books in the kids’ section and also wrote daily in a notebook about everything interesting. Now she enjoys writing creatively for children of all ages from picture books to chapter books. She always strives to be adventurous and humorous in her stories. Middle-grade books are her first love.

Her bachelor’s degree happens to be in Creative Writing and English, and she holds a certificate with the Institute of Children’s Literature. When she’s not writing, she’s going on many adventures of her own at her day job or with her little ones.

    Book Review

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.

Jack Magnus

Elephant, Please! is an educational animal picture book for children written by Maureen Kauzlarich and illustrated by Gustyawan. The little boy in this story wants a pet, but not just any pet. He wants a very special pet -- an elephant. But where can he find one? He begins his search for his new pet at the local pet store, but they have no elephants, and the salesman tries to interest him in a pet fish instead. The exotic pet store can’t help him either, but the store owner does tell him how to go about getting an elephant. It would involve a long trip by train, and then by plane all the way to the Serengeti where elephants live.

Maureen Kauzlarich’s Elephant, Please! follows a young boy as he learns that the pet of his dreams is really far better off living in its natural environment. I love how this story gives kids new insights into all animals, whether they are animal companions, such as dogs and cats, or wild and exotic animals like the elephant in this story. The tale adds dimension to kids’ perspectives on animals -- especially those they’ve only seen in zoos or animal parks. Gustyawan’s illustrations work quite well in making the author’s point clear. Each panel is brightly colored, and the artist’s attention to facial expressions on the animals is impressive and adds meaning to the story. Elephant, Please! is most highly recommended.

Bruce Arrington

Elephant, Please! by Maureen Kauzlarich is a children’s illustrated book about a young boy who is thinking about an exotic pet he would like to have. Finally, he hits upon the fun and exciting idea of an elephant and follows his dreams via train and plane until he finally finds one in the wild. But once he observes the desirable creature from a distance, he rethinks his strategy. All of a sudden, his reality clashes with the fantasy thoughts in his head. His dreams may not turn out like he once thought.

The prose is filled with short rhymes that scan well. The art is colorful and offers ample detail for the young reader’s enjoyment. But what I think is most important is the environmental message, and how the story goes about presenting that message. First of all, it reinforces the fact that wild animals need to stay in the wild. They are not domesticated, despite what messages theme parks and animated videos present to the public. Taking them home causes many complications and, in the end, everyone is miserable. But the prose presents this message in a fun and entertaining way. Our hero makes the right decision and is able to enjoy the elephants right where they are—in their own home. Elephant, Please! by Maureen Kauzlarich takes the exciting dreams of children and wild animals and teaches the reader important principles in wildlife conservation, while bringing entertainment at the same time. Recommended for children ages 7 and under.