Friday, September 03, 2021

"How Can That Be?" Elephants Do Not Belong in Trees by Russ Willms


THERE ONCE WAS A BIG BUSHY TREE WITH A FAT TRUNK WHICH SAT IN THE MIDDLE OF A WIDE MEADOW. MANY ANIMALS MADE THIS TREE THEIR HOME. . . .

Until the day an elephant moved right in.

"THIS IS MY NEW HOME!" SAID LARRY.

"ELEPHANTS DO NOT BELONG IN TREES!" THE OTHERS SAID.

Larry took up too much space in the tree. Bird wanted her babies' nest safe. Squirrel wanted access to his nut storage space. Monkey wanted to swing through the branches safely. Elephant is too big! But their grumbling didn't budge Larry.

But, WAIT! What's that?</p>

VROOM!

Rumble! Rumble! Rumble!

It was a BULLDOZER! And it was trying to push down their TREE! This cannot BE! But what can a bunch of little-bitty animals do to stop a bulldozer?

But Larry is BIG! He reaches down from his perch with his long trunk and slurps up all the pond water his long trunk can hold and . . .

SPLOOOOOSH!

And when Larry blows the bulldozer away, the others decide that maybe Larry does fit in after all, in Russ Willms' Elephants Do Not Belong in Trees (Orca, 2021). A friend in need is a friend indeed, and perhaps Larry is just the right size to share their tree. With comical characters and an unexpected surprise slapstick ending, preschoolers will love read-alouds of this simple story, while primary graders who can read this book themselves will understand this little lesson in finding a unusual friend in unexpected places.

Says School Library Journal, "Filled with delightful onomatopoeia and expressive changes in font to aid in dramatic story times, this quirky, humorous story will delight young children and invite discussion on acceptance."

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