Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Elephants Can Paint Too

Elephants Can Paint Too. Katya Arnold. 2005. 40 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: I teach in two schools. One is in the city. The other is in the jungle. Some of my students have hands. Others have trunks. Some students eat grass. Others eat peanut butter and jelly. But they all love cookies.

Premise/plot: Elephants Can Paint Too is a WONDERFUL nonfiction picture book. There is a simple, straightforward text that would be more than suitable for sharing with the youngest of readers. Yet, there's additional text that is just PACKED with fascinating details. I haven't yet decided how to perfectly blend the two when reading aloud. The facts can disrupt the narrative flow, something you probably don't want to do when reading to the youngest listeners, but yet the facts are truly something.

For example,
The elephant's truck is both a hand a nose. Not only can a trunk pick things up, it can smell, snore, trumpet, purr, drink, and spray. Elephants also use their trunks to communicate in a kind of sign language. A young elephant sucks its trunk the way babies suck their thumbs.
Elephants have 150,000 muscles in their trunks. (Our entire body has only 639 muscles.) Some elephants hold the brush by wrapping their trunks around it. Others hold it inside their trunks. If an elephant throws the brush away or eats it, he probably won't become an artist.
My thoughts: I love, love, love, LOVE this one. It's filled with I-didn't-know-that facts. It's engaging and compelling--both text and photographs do a GREAT job telling a compelling story. (I love the photograph of the elephant eating a cookie!!!) I love the comparing and contrasting. It's just a delightful book from start to finish.

Text: 5 out of 5
Photographs: 5 out of 5
Total: 10 out of 10

© 2017 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

1 comment:

Alyssa Nelson said...

This sounds like an absolutely excellent nonfiction picture book -- I have some baby cousins who would love this, though I would have to figure out a way of reading the facts without interrupting the flow of the story. Great review, thanks for sharing!