Best Kids Books About Elephants

34 Kids 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.

Special Delivery book
#4
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
#5
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.

Maggie and Wendel: Imagine Everything! book
#6
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.

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.

Ella WHO? book
#8
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
#9
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
#10
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.

Little Elliot, Fall Friends book
#11
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!

Little Elliot, Big Fun book
#12
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.

The Elephant book
#13
The Elephant
Written and illustrated by Jenni Desmond
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In this, Jenni Desmond's third nonfiction children's book about one of the large, endangered animals of Earth, we join a young boy as he learns about The Elephant. From Africa to Asia, the elephant makes its home. Light on their feet, despite their great weight, these magnificent creatures appear light and graceful because they're always walking on their tip-toes. They have excellent hearing and can detect the rumblings of other elephants from six miles away. And, just like humans being right handed or left handed, elephants can be right tusked or left tusked! The recipient of the 2016 New York Times Best Illustrated award for her book The Polar Bear, Desmond creates illustrations that are scientifically accurate, strikingly detailed, and beautifully rendered in collage, paint, and colored pencil.

The Truth About Elephants book
#14
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
#15
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
#16
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
#17
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.

Baby Bedtime book
#18
Baby Bedtime
Written by Mem Fox and illustrated by Emma Quay
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Join these adorable elephants for a lyrical good night routine in this tender bedtime tale from the bestselling author of Time for Bed and Hello Baby! After all the kissing, and the hugging, and the rocking, and the snuggling, there at last comes a time for—sleeping. From beloved, bestselling picture book author Mem Fox, this cozy, dreamy bedtime book is a soothing lullaby that’s just right for lulling little ones to sleep.

Noodlephant book
#19
Noodlephant
Written by Jacob Kramer and illustrated by K-Fai Steele
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Famous for her pasta parties, Noodlephant is shocked when the law-loving kangaroos decide noodles are only for them! Noodlephant won't let this stand--Noodlephants can't survive on sticks and branches, after all. Determined to do something to push back against an unjust law, she and her friends invent a machine that transforms pens into penne, pillows into ravioli, and radiators into radiatori. With that, the pasta parties are back! But that very night, the kangaroos come bounding through the door... ready to enforce their unjust laws. A zany tale of full of pasta puns, friendship, and one Phantastic Noodler, Noodlephant, written by Jacob Kramer and illustrated by K-Fai Steele, explores a community's response to injustice.

Don't Think About Purple Elephants book
#20
Don't Think About Purple Elephants
Written by Susan Whelan and illustrated by Gwynneth Jones
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

Sometimes Sophie worries - especially at night when everything is calm and quiet. Her family all try to help, but somehow they just make it worse. Until her mother thinks of a new approach...that just might involve an elephant or two! But wait, don’t think about purple elephants, whatever you do! Whimsical and humorous, this little girl’s story of finding a way to ease her worry resonates with children and parents everywhere. Don’t Think About Purple Elephants is an excellent resource for social and emotional learning for parents and teachers.

How to Find an Elephant book
#21
How to Find an Elephant
Written by Kate Banks and illustrated by Boris Kulikov
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

What to do on a dull gray day? Head into the wilds and look for an elephant. You will need a pair of binoculars, a blanket, a flute, some food, a little imagination, and a lot of curiosity. Look and listen closely, because elephants can be anywhere. And watch out, because if you're not careful, the elephant may find you first! With pleasing prose and "now you see it, now you don't" artwork, Banks and Kulikov take readers on a spirited romp that will both challenge and delight.

Through the Elephant's Door book
#22
Through the Elephant's Door
Written and illustrated by Helene de Blois
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

It’s a rainy day so the boy and his elephant, Émile, decide the perfect way to pass their time is with a trip to the museum. Their problems start before they even walk through the doors. First, what door does an elephant fit through? And second, why does the grumpy guard assume they are going to cause problems? It seems like as soon as they start to enjoy an exhibit, he’s right there yelling at them not to touch anything. Like they would ever do that!

Meet Miss Fancy book
#23
Meet Miss Fancy
Written by Irene Latham and illustrated by John Holyfield
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

A charming and significant story set prior to the Civil Rights Movement about a boy who finds a way to challenge segregation laws. Frank has always been obsessed with elephants. He loves their hosepipe trunks, tree stump feet, and swish-swish tails. So when Miss Fancy, the elephant, retires from the circus and moves two blocks from his house to Avondale Park, he’s over the moon! Frank really wants to pet her. But Avondale Park is just for white people, so Frank is not allowed to see Miss Fancy. Frank is heartbroken but he doesn’t give up: instead he makes a plan! Frank writes to the City Council so his church can host a picnic in the park, and he can finally meet Miss Fancy. All of his neighbors sign the letter, but when some protest, the picnic is cancelled and Frank is heartbroken all over again. Then Miss Fancy escapes the zoo, and it’s up to Frank to find her before she gets hurt.

Lavender book
#24
Lavender
Written by Melody C. Peugh and illustrated by Liddie Ull
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Lavender the elephant drops into a child's bedroom to play. When he learns that they need to stay tidy for Mommy's afternoon tea party, Lavender suggests a leisurely stroll in the garden. But quiet activities soon escalate into a joyful mud-pie mess! Uh-oh, here comes Mommy! Clean from their baths--the child in the tub and the elephant in the washing machine--the two friends enjoy cookies at tea time. Their pachyderm play-date ends perfectly, the child dreaming about more adventures with Lavender, who was a stuffed-animal all along. Adorably narrated by the child, Peugh's playful story begs to be read aloud. Its lovely lilt evokes the poems of A.A. Milne, while Ull's expressive watercolor and pen-and-ink drawings are reminiscent of Ernest Shephard's classic Winnie-the-Pooh illustrations.

Mom Loves Little Jumbo book
#25
Mom Loves Little Jumbo
Written and illustrated by Yasushi Muraki
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A celebration of the deep, unconditional love between mother and child Little Jumbo's mama is not only the greatest, but the biggest elephant ever! Naturally, she is not really the biggest in the world but from his perspective, she is a giant. She is brave and protects him; she plays with him, finds the tastiest fruit and cuddles him when it is time to sleep. And best of all--Mama loves him just like he loves Mama.

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected] with your book and list suggestion.