Best Kids Books About Elephants

32 Kids Books About Elephants

Updated Jan. 19, 2019
Have You Seen Elephant? book
#1
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.

Elecopter book
#2
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
#3
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
#4
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.

Tusk Tusk book
#5
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

The Elephant's Child book
#6
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.

When Your Elephant Comes to Play book
#7
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.

Thirsty, Thirsty Elephants book
#8
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.

The Baby Elephant book
#9
The Baby Elephant
Written by Benjamin Brewster and illustrated by Peter Burchard
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Discover a treasure trove of beautifully illustrated books with our new series, G&D Vintage! Featuring books from our Wonder Books line originally published in the 1940s, '50s, and '60s, there’s something for every reader in these timeless stories accompanied by classic illustrations. Oscar is a baby elephant who loves watching everything around him—there are so many interesting things to see! But when he gets distracted by the peanut man during the circus parade, he loses his mama! Luckily, a kind farmer helps him find her again, and Oscar learns an important lesson: to never to let go of his mama during the parade!

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.

Crash! Boom! a Math Tale book
#11
Crash! Boom! a Math Tale
Written by Robie H. Harris and illustrated by Chris Chatterton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

How do these blocks stack up? Gentle math concepts go down easy in this fun and accessible story for very young children by the esteemed Robie H. Harris. Elephant has a bucket of blocks and wants to build something tall. Something as tall as Elephant. But will it stay up? CRASH! BOOM! Not this time. Build it again? One block. Two blocks? Four blocks? It's still not as tall as Elephant. More blocks! Now will it stay up? Now will it be as tall as Elephant? Build, balance, count -- question, estimate, measure -- predict, crash, and build again! Young children will happily follow along as Elephant goes through the ups and downs of creating something new and finally celebrates the joy and pride of success.

Eppie the Elephant (Who Was Allergic to Peanuts) book
#12
Eppie the Elephant (Who Was Allergic to Peanuts)
Written by Livingstone Crouse and illustrated by Steve Brown
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

Go on a school-time adventure with Eppie, the elephant who is allergic to peanuts! It’s the first day of school for Eppie the elephant, and she’s a bit nervous about one thing: that her new classmates won’t understand her allergy to nuts. Like many kids today, this fun-loving elephant can’t partake in peanuts, pecans, or pistachios and has to be careful about what she eats. Eppie makes fast friends with Allie the alligator and Pearl the squirrel, but when Eppie’s allergy is explained at lunch, will her friends still stand by her side? Readers of all ages will relate to this heartwarming, lyrical story of understanding and acceptance.

Strictly No Elephants book
#13
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, Big Fun book
#14
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.

Little Elliot, Fall Friends book
#15
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 Family book
#16
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.

The Elephant book
#17
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.

Special Delivery book
#18
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"--

The Truth About Elephants book
#19
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
#20
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
#21
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
#22
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
#23
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
#24
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
#25
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.

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