Books Picture Book Challenge 2011 Picture Books PoC Reading Challenge 2011 Poetry-Filled Yuletide Cheer Reading Themes South Asian Challenge 2011

Anushka Ravishankar’s “Elephants Never Forget” illustrated by Christiane Pieper

A month ago, I had the privilege of meeting prolific Indian author, Anushka Ravishankar, when I was invited to be one of the speakers for the International seminar and exhibition in Mumbai, India. I mentioned to her that I found her book Elephants Never Forget in our library here in Singapore and that I’d be sure to include it as part of our Poetry-Filled Yuletide Cheer theme this November and December.

Our theme for the month. Poster courtesy of the ever-talented Iphigene.

At the very core of this picture book is an elephant who felt that he did not belong anywhere – a sudden storm has left the baby elephant all alone, away from his family, away from his herd. He found himself in the midst of the water buffaloes:

The buffaloes looked so calm, so serene.
The water was lovely, cool and green.

who gave him a sense of belonging, a space away from fear – a family. As he grew up, he “helped them take a shower bath” and “found them leaves when the grass was dry.” Despite the fact that

His ears were too large,
His nose was too long,
His shape was quite odd,
And his color all wrong

this elephant found a new set of brothers and sisters – who loved him the way he was. This book is perfect for very young children who would, no doubt, enjoy the alliterative text and rhythm of the words. It is also great for children who are just starting out in school and may feel a tad different from the others, and finding home among other strange creatures such as themselves. While the illustrations did not appeal to me that much, I thought that it showed a nice layout of the text alongside the drawings.

PictureBook Challenge Update: 131 (120)

PoC Reading Challenge Update: 57 (25)

South Asian Challenge Update: 7 of 7

Elephants Never Forget by Anushka Ravishankar and illustrations by Christiane Pieper. Houghton Mifflin Company Boston, 2008. Book borrowed from the NIE Library. Book photos were taken by me.

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

9 comments on “Anushka Ravishankar’s “Elephants Never Forget” illustrated by Christiane Pieper

  1. I love the heart of this story… the acceptance and celebration of differences, the importance of being accepted, the warmth of belonging!


  2. We have a fascination with elephants in this house, so this book will be a hit if only for the choice of animal. 🙂 The bonus is the beautiful theme it conveys.


    • There are elephants all around Singapore now (at least in most of the malls and in the city) because of the Holiday Season – I think it’s meant to be symbolic of something or other. I’m sure you’d love it.


  3. It is always so cool to meet the authors!


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