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by Richard Sobal


School Library Journal:
K-Gr 4– Readers can learn about an endangered species and the culture of an Asian country in this engaging photo-essay. Large, colorful photographs enhance the text as Sobol introduces a four-year-old domesticated Asian elephant that lives in Tha Klang, Thailand. Raised by her human family and schooled by a full-time trainer, Wan Pen will eventually earn money by taking visitors on tours of the village. Children will delight in discovering how the animal spends her day, and that her favorite pastime is playing soccer with her human siblings and their friends. The text is packed with interesting tidbits about these large mammals (“just one day’s worth of food would fill an entire garage”) and day-to-day life in Tha Klang (where the dirt and gravel of the unpaved roads have mixed with droppings to create an “elephant-poop highway”). The vivid photos show Wan Pen interacting with her caregivers, present colorful images of the village and its people, and capture the beauty of the verdant landscape. Additional facts about elephants are appended. A fine introduction to a special place where elephants live safely with humans.–Blair Christolon, Prince William Public Library System, Manassas, VA –Blair Christolon (Reviewed July 1, 2004) (School Library Journal, vol 50, issue 7, p96)


1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, Ages 0-8, Animals, Education, Kindergarten, Non-fiction