These books offer an exciting window into the world of Asian elephants, the men and woman trying to save their habitats and better their lives, as well as beautiful stories for all ages. Read, discover, get involved.
The Asian Elephant, A Natural History by J.C. Daniel
From the curator of the Bombay Natural History Society comes a review of the past and present status of the elephant and problems that it faces in its fight for survival
Eyewitness: Elephant by Ian Redmond
A vivid introduction to the elephant, in the colorful Eyewitness visual style. With plenty of background on the natural history of the elephant, including description of its behavior and social habits. Great for children too.
The Astonishing Elephant by Shana Alexander
Elephant is an unabashed celebration of these mysterious creatures, whose closest living relatives are the dugong and the hyrax. “They have,” Alexander writes, “essential nobility, grace, serenity, sagacity, loyalty and playfulness, a simple goodness, a lack of animosity–unless provoked.”
Elephants on the Edge by G.A. Bradshaw
This thoughtful book by animal trauma specialist Bradshaw draws analogies between human and animal culture to illustrate the profound breakdown occurring in elephant societies.
Coming of Age with Elephants: A Memoir by Joyce Poole
Poole is an animal behaviorist who has devoted her life to the study of the African elephant. Her intensive involvement with these majestic creatures revealed that they are self-aware, startlingly empathic beings, experience musth, and communicate in low-level vibrations that humans cannot hear. Those discoveries are fascinating, and Poole’s accounts of her adventures with the elephants are spellbinding; but there’s a dark side to this story…
Elephant Memories: Thirteen Years in the Life of an Elephant Family by Cynthia Moss
Amboseli National Park, near Mt. Kilimanjaro in southern Kenya, is home ground to some 600 elephants; this herd has been relatively free from human interference and was a major focus for field study. Moss follows one extended family through 13 years of good times and bad times, observing details of their daily lives; mating, migration, social behavior, births and calves, and family history.
The Pope’s Elephant by Silvio A. Bedini
In early 16th century Rome, among the Pope’s great joys was his menagerie of exotic animals, and the prize of his collection was an Indian elephant named Hanno, presented to him by the King of Portugal. The Pope’s Elephant by Silvio A. Bedini, historian emeritus at the Smithsonian Institution, describes Hanno’s powerful effect on the Papal Court and on the Roman citizenry. For Romans, Hanno became the preeminent symbol of the alluring Orient; for Pope Leo’s detractors, the elephant became a symbol of Roman corruption. –Michael Joseph Gross
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
It’s the Depression Era and Jacob, finding himself parentless and penniless, joins the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. There he meets the freaks, grifters, and misfits that populate this world. He introduces us to Marlena, beautiful star of the equestrian act; to August, her charismatic but twisted husband (and the circus’s animal trainer); and to Rosie, the seemingly untrainable elephant Jacob cares for.
Modoc by Ralph Helfer
Modoc is one of the most amazing true animal stories ever told. Raised together in a small German circus town, a boy and an elephant formed a bond that would last their entire lives, and would be tested time and again; through a near-fatal shipwreck in the Indian Ocean, an apprenticeship with the legendary Mahout elephant trainers in the Indian teak forests, and their eventual rise to circus stardom in 1940s New York City.
Hannah’s Dream by Diane Hammond
Hannah has been cared for by Samson Brown for her 41-year captivity. But Samson is aging and his health is failing, and the zoo needs a plan. Enter Neva Wilson, an energetic young zookeeper whose creative ideas for Hannah’s well-being immediately put her afoul of Harriet Saul, the zoo’s petty, tyrannical administrator. To save Hannah’s life, Samson and Neva scheme to transfer her to an elephant sanctuary, though their plan comes with great personal risk. –Carol Hagga
Just for Elephants by Carol Buckley
Most elephants in America live in circuses and zoos, and their lives are very different from what they would be in the wild. But there’s a very special place in Tennessee called the Elephant Sanctuary, where elephants can finally have the freedom to roam and have elephant friends.
Tarra and Bella by Carol Buckley
Best friends come in all shapes and sizes! After retiring from the circus, Tarra became the first resident of the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. When other elephants moved in and developed close friendships, only Tarra remained independent – until the day she met a stray mixed-breed dog named Bella.
Travels with Tarra by Carol Buckley
Tarra, an Asian elephant raised in captivity, is the subject of this tender photo-essay by Tarra’s elephant-advocate owner. College student Buckley’s courses in the care of exotic animals sprang to life when a local merchant obtained an infant elephant as his store mascot. Before long, Buckley had befriended the store owner and taken over the feeding of the hairy 700-pound infant and eventually…
Horton Hears a Who Dr. Seuss
Surely among the most lovable of all Dr. Seuss creations, Horton the Elephant represents kindness, trustworthiness, and perseverance–all wrapped up, thank goodness, in a comical and even absurd package. Horton hears a cry for help from a speck of dust, and spends much of the book trying to protect the infinitesimal creatures who live on it from the derision and trickery of other animals, who think their elephant friend has gone quite nutty. This classic is not only fun, but a great way to introduce thoughtful children to essentially philosophical questions… Richard Farr
Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss
Poor Horton. Dr. Seuss’s kindly elephant is persuaded to sit on an egg while its mother, the good-for-nothing bird lazy Maysie, takes a break. He waits, and waits, never leaving his precarious branch, and he is rewarded in the end by the surprise birth of… an elephant-bird. Horton Hatches the Egg contains some of Theodor Geisel’s most inspired verse and some of his best-ever illustrations, the dated style of which only accentuates their power and charm. A book no childhood should be without. (Ages 2 to 7) –Richard Farr
Elephant Dreams by Karl Cullen
Inspired by the real life experience of the author who spent four months with the two orphan elephants, Ging Mai and Hope, this is the story of how after finding each other, they head off to search for the most important thing in a young elephants life; a family.
Elephants (Amazing Animals) by Kate Riggs
This fairly new series of books explores many animals from the world in a way that even young readers will love. Every few sentences is accompanied by a full-page picture. Children learn how much the animals weigh, what they eat, where and how they live, who their predators are, and other basics. There is also a short fable included in the back of the book about some aspect of the animal.