Once Upon an Elephant

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Once Upon an Elephant
From slowing wildfires to planting seeds, one animal is the true superhero that keeps the African savanna in balance. Elephants dig to find salt that other animal lick, their deep footprints collect water for small creatures to drink, and they eat young trees to keep the forest from overtaking the grasslands. In every season, the elephants are there to protect the savanna and its residents – but what would happen if the elephants were only “once upon a time?" Read along to discover the important role this keystone species plays in the savanna and explore what would happen if the elephants vanished.

This nonfiction picture book with a cuddle factor includes a 2-page For Creative Minds section in the back of the book and a 49-page cross-curricular Teaching Activity Guide online. Once Upon an Elephant is vetted by experts and designed to encourage parental engagement. Its extensive back matter helps teachers with time-saving lesson ideas, provides extensions for science, math, and social studies units, and uses inquiry-based learning to help build critical thinking skills in young readers. The Spanish translation supports ELL and dual-language programs. The interactive ebook reads aloud in both English and Spanish with word highlighting and audio speed control to promote oral language skills, fluency, pronunciation, text engagement, and reading comprehension. Tap animals and other things that make noise to hear their sounds.

Written by Linda Stanek, Illustrated by Shennen Bersani
32 pg, 8.5x10, Ages 4-8, Grades K-3, Lexile: 730
Hardcover 9781628557312 $17.95  
Paperback 9781628557381 $9.95  
Spanish Paperback 9781628557459 $11.95  
EBook 9781628557664 Purchase Here
Spanish EBook 9781628557732 Purchase Here
Arabic EBook 9781643513263 Purchase Here
Keywords:   Africa, grassland, savanna, habitat/animal interaction, keystone species
Animals in the book:   elephant, giraffe, zebra, lizard, snake, mongoose, baboon, gazelle, antelope, mice, frog, fly, mosquito, ant, beetle, fox, leopard
Vetters:   Thanks to the International Elephant Foundation for reviewing the accuracy of the information in this book.

Vote Now! (link to Children's Choice Awards)


Once Upon an Elephant, by Linda Stanek is a wonderful picture book that instills the love and respect for each individual organism as part of an ecosystem. - NSTA Recommends

I would highly recommend it to any family with kids, not only as a fun story with great illustrations, but also as a learning tool. I'm excited to have it on my shelf to share with generations to come. Great job Linda! - Suzi Rapp, Columbus Zoo

Once Upon an Elephant is a beautifully designed and written story, suitable for children as young as four years old up to four or fifth graders. By using a child-oriented language the story tells the important role elephants play in their environment. - Patricia Sims, World Elephant Day co-founder

Author/Illustrator Info:

As an early and middle childhood educator, Linda Stanek wants to inspire young learners, including children with written language disabilities, to write about things that excite them. Her own passion for saving endangered animals and teaching children about the importance of each link in natural world provide the inspiration for Once Upon an Elephant. Linda has also written The Pig and Miss Prudence and Beco's Big Year: A Baby Elephant Turns One. Linda has two grown sons and lives in Ohio with her husband and feline family members. Visit her website at www.lindastanek.com.

Shennen Bersani is an award-winning illustrator with 2 million copies of her books cherished and read by children, parents, and teachers throughout the world. Her art delivers heartfelt emotion, the wonders of nature and science, and creates a unique joy for learning. Some of Shennen's other illustrated works include River Otter's Adventures; Night Creepers; Cheetah Dreams; Animal Partners; Astro: The Steller Sea Lion; Home in the Cave; The Glaciers are Melting!; Once Upon an Elephant (CBC Children's Choice Book Award); Salamander Season; Sea Slime: It’s Eeuwy, Gooey and Under the Sea; The Shape Family Babies; and Shark Baby for Arbordale. She is also the author and illustrator of Achoo! Why Pollen Counts. Shennen lives with her family near Boston. Visit her website at www.shennenbersani.com.


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