Where’s the Elephant? can be enjoyed by kids young and old. On our first read through, my littlest squealed with delight finding the three animals (Elephant, Parrot and Snake) on each page and my older two were encouraged to think and share their thoughts. It was interesting watching the concern develop on their faces as they turned each page. While baby girl’s squeals crescendoed, their voices became quieter.
Barroux was inspired to create Where’s the Elephant? after he witnessed parts of the Amazon Rainforest being set on fire to make way for soybean production. The fact that this book is printed on forest friendly paper is a wonderful touch, subtly drawing attention to its message.
Elephant, Parrot and Snake happily roam through a lush landscape of trees. Turn the page and some of those trees have been chopped down. Turn again, more are gone and a house is built. This continues until a busy city takes over the landscape. Mixed-media illustrations in brilliant colours contrast against the grey of the emerging city. In the end we’re left with one tree and animals stuck in a zoo. The trio break out, bust down buildings, and escape in a boat to another land teeming with trees. Will the story repeat itself, or can we do something about it?