Monday, March 12, 2018

What Elephants Know by Eric Dinerstein - ESSENTIAL

Dinerstein, Eric What Elephants Know, 271 pages. Hyperion (Disney), 2016. $17. Language: PG (5 swears, 0 ‘f’); Mature Content: PG; Violence: PG.

Nandu was found in the jungles of Nepal when he was a child.  He was adopted by the leader of the King’s elephant stable and raised among the gentle giants.  Nandu wants nothing more than to become a great elephant driver like his adopted father.  Nandu’s father, however, wants greater things for his son and sends him to a boarding school to further his education.  When Nandu’s home-life becomes threatened and the fate of the elephants hang in the balance, he and his friends devise a plan to save his beloved home and his dream of becoming an elephant driver. 

This is a beautifully written story of family-ties and friendship that can’t be broken.  The author expertly transports you to the jungles of Nepal replete with all its animals and traditions.  Reminiscent of the Jungle Book by Kipling, Nandu, like Mowgli, has an extraordinary connection with the animals, especially the wild dogs who watch over him and his beloved elephant mother, Devi Kali.  The book deals with a variety of issues such as loss, bullying, and mixed families.  I absolutely loved this book! 

EL, MS, HS - ESSENTIAL. Gina, Media Specialist

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