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Ernest the Elephant

Written by Anthony Browne

Illustrated by Anthony Browne

Early Years Key Stage 1 Stories about Animals Bedtime Stories for Children

LoveReading View on Ernest the Elephant

A beautiful modern fable about helping others

As one would expect from a much-lauded artist, past Children’s Laureate and winner of the prestigious Hans Andersen Prize and two Kate Greenaway medals, this is a very beautiful book. But this modern fable has some gentle but poignant messages for young readers. As in many of his books one can safely assume the child represented by young Ernest. Safe and happy with his mum and the rest of the herd but bursting with curiosity about life, and one day he sets off to explore the fascinating jungle.

Children will pour over the jungle pages with relish, spotting leopard skin tree trunks, flowers made of fried eggs or even Crème eggs in classic surrealist Browne style. But young Ernest gets increasingly alarmed by the strangeness and finds himself lost. Every child will empathise with the lost child trauma. Ernest is relieved to come upon other animals, but what a disappointment they turn out to be and how marvellously is their boredom and selfish disdain captured. They really cannot be bothered to help or listen – just like some politicians!

But somebody does listen- a tiny mouse. Ernest thanks him most politely but does not believe help is possible from this unprepossessing source. Yet he can and does and Ernest and his mum are so happy to be reunited. “And so was the little mouse, as it quietly scurried back into the jungle” Illustrating so perfectly that helpfulness brings its own reward – just as it does for all those carers and NHS staff selflessly giving their time to help. A lovely rewarding read to reflect upon together.

Joy Court

Ernest the Elephant Synopsis

A poignant story about a baby elephant who gets lost in a mysterious jungle, from the acclaimed Kate Greenaway Medal-winning author-illustrator and former Children's Laureate.

Ernest is a happy baby elephant. But when his curiosity gets the better of him and he leaves the rest of his herd to explore the alluring and dangerous jungle, he becomes very lost indeed. Amongst the undergrowth, he meets a rude gorilla, a weary lion, an impolite hippo and an uncaring crocodile. Will anyone help Ernest find his way out of the jungle and home to his mum? From the international phenomenon, Anthony Browne, comes a heartfelt, visually stunning picture book, about finding help in unexpected places.

Ernest the Elephant Press Reviews

This is an adorable hardback book. Lovely story and beautiful pictures, which all have cute little details in them. -- Parent - Toppsta

This is a beautifully illustrated book. The story is really nice and we both thoroughly enjoyed reading it. The colours are vibrant and we had fun looking for the unexpected treats and surprises in the jungle. -- Parent - Toppsta

The illustrations are so warm and inviting. The facial expressions of the elephants are very thought-provoking. My 4 and 2 year old spent a long time poring over the pictures and they notice something new to discuss each time. -- Parent - Toppsta

Book Information

ISBN: 9781406395099
Publication date: 6th May 2021
Author: Anthony Browne
Illustrator: Anthony Browne
Publisher: Walker Books Ltd
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 32 pages
Year Groups: Early Years, Key Stage 1
Topics: Animals, Bedtime Reading

About Anthony Browne

As a childAnthony grew up in a village called Hipperholme, in Yorkshire. He loved art and would spend hours drawing with his beloved father. He says of his father, “He was an unusual man – outwardly strong and confident, but also shy and sensitive – a bit like the gorillas I love to illustrate now. As well as drawing, he encouraged me to play a lot of sports, such as rugby and soccer and cricket. I was small for my age and I used to go to a fairly tough school – if I hadn’t been good ...

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