43 Children's Books About Elephants

Updated Jan. 19, 2019
Little Elliot, Big Family book
#1
Little Elliot, Big Family
Written and illustrated by Mike Curato
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

At Mouse's house, Elliot the elephant finds more than a friend--he finds a family.

Have You Seen Elephant? book
#2
Have You Seen Elephant?
Written and illustrated by David Barrow
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

"Elephant wants to play hide and seek. You can play too, but you'll have to try your best, he's very good!"--Back cover.

Twenty-one Elephants and Still Standing book
#3
Twenty-one Elephants and Still Standing
Written by April Jones Prince and illustrated by Francois Roca
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

After fourteen years of construction, the Brooklyn Bridge was completed, much to the delight of the sister cities it connected: Brooklyn and New York City. Fireworks and top hats filled the air in celebration when the magnificent bridge opened in 1883. But some wondered just how much weight the new bridge could hold. Was it truly safe? One man seized the opportunity to show people in Brooklyn, New York and the world that the Brooklyn Bridge was in fact strong enough to hold even the heaviest of passengers. P. T. Barnum, creator of “The Greatest Show on Earth,” would present a show too big for the Big Top and too wondrous to forget.

When Your Elephant Has the Sniffles book
#4
When Your Elephant Has the Sniffles
Written by Susanna Leonard Hill and illustrated by Daniel Wiseman
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

When your elephant has the sniffles, you better make sure he doesn’t sneeze! This charming and hilarious board book highlights the many ways to make an under-the-weather elephant feel better! Does your elephant have the sniffles? Make sure to take good care of him because you don’t want him to start sneezing. Gather up your tissues and your pillows and make that elephant feel better! But don’t get too close…or you just might end up with the sniffles, too!

Special Delivery book
#5
Special Delivery
Written and illustrated by Philip C. Stead
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

"A little girl goes on a long journey to deliver an elephant to her great aunt"--

Elecopter book
#6
Elecopter
Written and illustrated by Michael Slack
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

A chant-along companion to Monkey Truck features a heroic, fire-fighting elephant who bravely patrols the skies above the Savannah with her fire-hose nose, putting out fires and rescuing her fellow animals.

Should I Share My Ice Cream? (An Elephant and Piggie Book) book
#7
Should I Share My Ice Cream? (An Elephant and Piggie Book)
Written and illustrated by Mo Willems
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In a latest entry in a Geisel Award-winning series, the friendship between reserved Gerald and fun-loving Piggie is tested when Gerald faces a difficult decision. By the Emmy Award- and Caldecott Honor-winning author of Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! 100,000 first printing.

Maggie and Wendel: Imagine Everything! book
#8
Maggie and Wendel: Imagine Everything!
Written and illustrated by Cori Doerrfeld
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Illustrations and easy-to-read text portray a young brother and sister as they spend an afternoon imagining great adventures together.

Ella WHO? book
#9
Ella WHO?
Written by Linda Ashman and illustrated by Sara Sanchez
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

Mom . . . there's an elephant in the living room. It's moving day--and look who slipped in the door: an elephant! But when a little girl tries to tell her family about their unusual guest, the distracted grown-ups just say, "Ella WHO?" Even as children giggle at the girl's adventures with the smallish pachyderm, and at the fun, recurring refrain, they'll relate to the poignant theme about making--and sometimes letting go of--new friends.

Wakey, Wakey, Elephant! book
#10
Wakey, Wakey, Elephant!
Written by Linda Ravin Lodding and illustrated by Michael Robertson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

A tickly feather. Roosters crowing. Even a marching band. Will ANYTHING wake Elephant? How do you make a snoozing, sleepyhead Elephant get up? Edgar tries everything, from putting a silly hat on Elephant's head to dancing a cha-cha on the bed. Nothing works . . . until Edgar whispers something very special in his friend's ear. SURPRISE! It's Elephant's birthday--and he's ready to party. Lively, silly, and full of fun, this picture book is a joyful celebration.

Strictly No Elephants book
#11
Strictly No Elephants
Written by Lisa Mantchev and illustrated by Taeeun Yoo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When the local Pet Club won’t admit a boy’s tiny pet elephant, he finds a solution—one that involves all kinds of unusual animals in this sweet and adorable picture book. Today is Pet Club day. There will be cats and dogs and fish, but strictly no elephants are allowed. The Pet Club doesn’t understand that pets come in all shapes and sizes, just like friends. Now it is time for a boy and his tiny pet elephant to show them what it means to be a true friend. Imaginative and lyrical, this sweet story captures the magic of friendship and the joy of having a pet.

Train! book
#12
Train!
Written and illustrated by Judi Abbot
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-6

A train-loving baby elephant is excited to go on a real train, but when the other baby animals want to play with different vehicles, he becomes upset, until he tries some of the other toys for himself.

Baby Animals Take a Bath book
#13
Baby Animals Take a Bath
Written by Marsha Diane Arnold and illustrated by Phyllis Limbacher Tildes
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Sometimes bath time means a roll in the mud, and sometimes it’s a plunge in the snow. Little ones learn how baby animals friends clean up.

Little Elliot, Fall Friends book
#14
Little Elliot, Fall Friends
Written and illustrated by Mike Curato
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

It's autumn in the Big City! Little Elliot and Mouse love the hustle and bustle of the city streets. But sometimes it feels like there are too many people, too many noises—just too much! The best friends decide to get out of town for a vacation in the countryside. There, they'll discover the sights and smells of autumn in the country. Everything is more fun when shared with a friend!

The Biggest Kiss book
#15
The Biggest Kiss
Written by Joanna Walsh and illustrated by Judi Abbot, Joanna Walsh
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

There’s a kiss here for everyone in this warm and cozy Classic Board Book edition of The Biggest Kiss! Do worms kiss underground, with the soil all around? Do fish kiss like this—splosh, splash, splish? Everyone needs kisses, so what could be better than a book that’s full of them? With darling animals on every page and irresistible text that begs to be read aloud, parents and grandparents will love sharing this collection of affection with the youngest of readers.

The Smallest Elephant in the World book
#16
The Smallest Elephant in the World
Written by Alvin Tresselt and illustrated by Milton Glaser
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Mocked throughout the jungles of India, the smallest elephant in the world-no bigger than a house cat-has decided enough is enough. If he's no bigger than a house cat, then a house is where he belongs! After a long journey, this smallest elephant in the world finds himself a home with a nice little boy inside. Unfortunately, the boy's mother doesn't believe elephants make suitable house pets... First published in 1959, The Smallest Elephant in the World, written by Alvin Tresselt and illustrated by Milton Glaser, is a witty, sweet, and funny tale of friendship, unlikely disguise, and the search for home.

Little Elliot, Big Fun book
#17
Little Elliot, Big Fun
Written and illustrated by Mike Curato
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Elliot the little elephant is terrified when his friend Mouse introduces him to the carnival, but Mouse helps him to have fun.

Thirsty, Thirsty Elephants book
#18
Thirsty, Thirsty Elephants
Written by Sandra Markle and illustrated by Fabricio VandenBroeck
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Elephants never forget During a drought in Tanzania, Grandma Elephant is in search of water for her herd. Little Calf follows along and mimics her grandmother at each stop on their journey. When Grandma leads them to a watering hole she recalls from years before, the elephants are overjoyed and Little Calf splashes about with her tender leader. Grandma’s persistence and powerful memory is something Little Calf will never forget. Based on true events. Sandra Markle’s acclaimed nonfiction writing takes on a more lyrical style alongside Fabricio VandenBroeck’s gorgeous illustrations making this story of animal behavior accessible for younger readers. Back matter includes further information about the phenomenon of a herd of elephants that survived a drought, as well as fascinating elephant facts.

When Your Elephant Comes to Play book
#19
When Your Elephant Comes to Play
Written and illustrated by Ale Barba
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A hilarious celebration of imagination–and pets–that will have kids laughing What’s a boy to do when an elephant shows up at his door and wants to play? Eating cake makes a big mess, there’s not enough room in the pool for the two of them, and jumping on the bed may be the biggest disaster of all! But hugs? Well, those work. Elephants are probably the best huggers around. With dozens of laughs, a big elephant sneeze, and a hug you won’t soon forget, this book will make you wish an elephant came to play at your house too.

The Elephant's Child book
#20
The Elephant's Child
Written by Rudyard Kipling and illustrated by Jonas Laustroer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

The tale of how the elephant got its trunk is one of the most beloved of the Just So Stories Rudyard Kipling wrote for children. The insatiably curious elephant's child peppers every animal he meets with questions about the mysterious crocodile who lives on the banks of the Lompopo River. When he finally meets the crocodile, he nearly becomes dinner. This rollicking story and Jonas's Laustroer's vibrant art have the makings of a modern classic.

The Truth About Elephants book
#21
The Truth About Elephants
Written and illustrated by Maxwell Eaton III
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Did you know that an elephant's tusks never stop growing? Did you know that elephants can sometimes purr like giant cats? And that they use six sets of teeth throughout their lives? Impress your friends and teachers with these facts and more in this wildly entertaining (not to mention hilarious) nonfiction picture book offering everything you want to know about elephants.

Fred and the Bedtime Elephants book
#22
Fred and the Bedtime Elephants
Written by Caroline Crowe and illustrated by Claudia Ranucci
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When Fred can’t sleep, his mom suggests counting sheep. But sheep are boring, so he tries to count elephants instead. He didn’t realize that elephants are sneaky, troublesome animals! Soon they’re wreaking havoc on his whole house, and Fred has to find a way to get rid of them, or he’ll never go to sleep.

That Fruit Is Mine! book
#23
That Fruit Is Mine!
Written and illustrated by Anuska Allepuz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When five fruit-loving elephants spot a scrumptious hard-to-reach fruit high up in a tree, it's a race to see who can claim it first! But after one too many fumbles, the elephants begin to lose their cool, and the highly coveted fruit is whisked away by the teeny-tiniest of all jungle creatures—mice! The elephants soon realize they have a lot to learn from this cooperative little bunch.

Pete With No Pants book
#24
Pete With No Pants
Written and illustrated by Rowboat Watkins
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Meet Pete. Pete is gray. He's round. And he's not wearing any pants. So Pete must be a boulder. Or is he a pigeon? Or a squirrel? Or a cloud? Join Pete in his quest to answer the world's oldest question: Why do I have to wear pants? Wait, that's the second oldest. Born from the one-of-a-kind imagination of Rowboat Watkins, this hilarious book (the asides just beg to be read aloud) about finding out who you are features a satisfying and touching ending that will encourage young readers to be true to themselves as it reminds the adults in their lives to support them no matter what.

Tusk Tusk book
#25
Tusk Tusk
Written and illustrated by David McKee
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Once, elephants came in two colours: black or white. They loved all other creatures - but each set wanted to destroy the other. Peace-loving elephants ran and hid in the deepest jungle while battle commenced. The war-mongers succeeded: for a long time it seemed that there were no elephants in the world at all, not of any colour. But then the descendants of the peace-loving ones emerged from the jungle, and by now they were all grey. 'This book was one of my favourites as a kid, I simply relished in the gloriousness of a load of elephants battling it out in a bizarre forest. It wasn't until I was a bit older that I recognised the importance of the message that lay (not so subtly) underneath.' OLIVER JEFFERS

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected]!