· Titles: The Elephant and the Sheep
· Author: Patricia Furstenberg
· Published: 2017
The Elephant and the Sheep is an illustrated children’s poem based on the real-life story of an orphaned elephant who was adopted by a sheep.
The Elephant and the Sheep takes place in South Africa and is about the friendship of an orphaned elephant named Themba and a sheep named Albert. The book particularly excels in creating a sense of carefree joy that surrounds Themba and Albert’s friendship. There is also a strong sense of place throughout the story. There are charming touches that mention the weather and baobab trees, which help establish the African setting.
The story is written as a poem. The rhyme and meter are a bit inconsistent, but overall they help create a story that is fun to read aloud to children. The illustrations are attractive and colorful. Some of the clip art pieces were a bit blurry, but the four-year old I read the book with did not mind at all. She very much enjoyed looking at all the bright, cheerful illustrations, especially the colorful suns
The names of the main characters are not mentioned for several pages. The main characters are originally referred to as “two tails”, which could be disorienting for children reading the book alone. The reader learns that Themba sleeps all night under the tree where Albert and Themba play, but it is never directly stated that Themba is an orphan who does not have a home. Younger children will likely need an adult who can explain Themba’s situation to them. The ending of the book lends itself nicely to further discussion with children about the importance of kindness, family and generosity.
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
Thanks for reading! This is another #RBRT review. Thanks to Patricia Furstenberg for sending me a free e-book to read. If you enjoyed this review, please share or follow for more book reviews.