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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
We Are the Elephants: A Fable of Our Plight: The Bennu Books, Book One is a literary fiction novella written and illustrated by Dia Virginia Rigden. Bennu lived quite happily with his mother, Ruth, and the rest of his herd until, one day, he wandered off a bit from the rest of the herd and was tranquilized and carted off. Ruth was heartbroken by her son's disappearance and the elephants cried out their sorrow and anger at the horrid thing that had happened. Ruth communicates with Bennu in the way of the elephants to let him know she is always there for him, no matter where he is. Bennu has been purchased by Wade, who trains his elephants to perform tricks in circus rings. Disobedience is harshly dealt with, and Bennu cannot understand what has happened to him and why those people come to watch him. His misery is eased somewhat by a tiny white mouse named Timmy and Isaiah, an old and blind elephant, who had spent his lifetime in the circus.
Dia Virginia Rigden's literary fiction novella, We Are the Elephants: A Fable of Our Plight: The Bennu Books, Book One, is a stunningly beautiful and poignant tale about the coming of age of a young elephant who had been wrested from his home and put on display in a circus ring. Rigden's prose is lyrical and haunting as she interprets the messages of Gaia and the elephants for her readers. Her illustrations are superb acrylic-on-canvas paintings which do a marvelous job of capturing the progression of the story and bringing it to life. I was literally transfixed by the plot, the words and images comprising it, and those amazing illustrations. We Are the Elephants is unforgettable and utterly lovely. It's most highly recommended. Wow!