January 24, 2009

My daughter loves elephants.  She collects different stuffed animals and reads about them.  When I found the book, Elephant’s Story, I began to think of Eliz.  Harriet Blackford is a zoologist and has created a delightful nonfiction narrative to create background knowledge of the elephant.  she introduces the African savanna elephant and their family behavior.  The reader is introduced to the central character, a baby elephant.  Manja Stojic catches the reader’s attention with her paintings.

Harriet Blackford creates scenes that children will connect with.  Feelings are inferred, such as being scared.  “The bank is high and she cannot see her mother.  For the first time in her life, she is alone.  Elephant squeals with fright.”  elephant also feels a sense of belonging and safety with her mother and herd.  “Elephant’s mother strokes her baby all over to help her feel safe again.”

Savorings for reading and in writing for Elephant’s Story:

  • Background knowledge of the elephant
  • Connections  – elephant’s behavior and children’s behavior
  • Inference
  • Informational text at the end
  • Animal characteristics – “Elephant is born on the vast African savanna, a tiny wrinkly baby with big floppy ears and a most extraordinary nose.”