What do elephants do?

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Hazel Lincoln
Floris Books
Mar 2006
The debate over nurture and nature, inherited and acquired tendencies and characteristics continues to be assuaged through education and child development theories. �What do elephants do� forms a phenomenological exposition through the eyes of an anthropomorphised baby elephant, Esme.

This lavishly illustrated story opens in springtime. Just as many of the animals of Africa are able to welcome new babies to their family enclaves, so too are the elephants with the birth of baby Esme. Whilst struggling to stand on her own four feet, Esme finds she has a problem � something continuously trips her up, something odd that dangles from the middle of her face�

From here-on-in, the story focuses around Esme�s needs and wants as she encounters the world around her and its manifold inhabitants� When Esme is thirsty, she sees zebras drinking and wonders �What do elephants do?� When Esme is hot, she sees tortoise shaded by his shell, but, �What do elephants do?� This simple, yet clever framework forms the base for the remainder of the story as Esme learns just what it is that elephants do and the importance of her trunk, thereby realising her own identity.

An elephant�s proboscis is a strange, peculiar and fairly alien appendage, through sensitively examining its role and importance to the identity of elephants, Hazel Lincoln creates a valuable message as to the importance of assessing actions rather than mere appearance. Here is a beautifully consistent picture-book whose world is safely outlined within its first double-page spread and given character and brought into context thereafter.

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This page contains a single entry by Jacob published on March 29, 2006 2:29 PM.

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