Lisa Mantchev addresses the issue of fitting in, acceptance, to a child’s level of understanding in the book, Strictly No Elephants. It’s Pet Club Day and the boy is excited to share his pet elephant only to be disappointed to not be included. As they walk away, Taeeun Yoo’s illustrations display the disappointment. The neutral colors on the two page wordless spread cause the reader to pause and soak in the character’s dampened feelings. Turning the corner, the boy and pet meet a girl with her pet skunks. Through renewed hope, the two choose to form another club. Along the way, more children join who have different pets.
As a teacher I envision this story will invite a lot of conversation. Topics of differences and acceptance, overcoming rejection and hardship, are a few that will arise. The book invites you to discuss how the class might solve problems that arise in the class. Strictly No Elephants can be used as a touchstone text for restorative circles.
Emily Arrow shares her song about Strictly No Elephants.
Savorings for Strictly No Elephants:
- Color highlights
- Cause/ Effect
- Repeating Phrase – “That’s what friends do:…”
- Restorative Practice topic starter