Where’s the Elephant?

The climate change and deforestation message may be somewhat grim but a new picture book presents it in an extremely colourful way.

Where’s the Elephant? by award-winning illustrator, Barroux, begins as a simple game of jungle hide-and-seek – spot the elephant, parrot and snake amongst Barroux’s bright, leafy water-colour trees.

However, after a few pages of glorious jungle scenes, the trees begin to disappear and in their place is a growing city, leaving our creatures with little place to hide. What’s to become of the elephant, parrot and snake, stuck in a zoo in a ‘concrete jungle’? Our wonderful creatures do get a happy (if somewhat unlikely) ending, delivered with an important environmental message.

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The book is essentially wordless – after introducing the animals, Barroux’s beautiful illustrations take over, telling the story visually. The message is simple and straightforward but offers ample opportunity to discuss broader environmental issues such as deforestation, the pressure of urban expansion and the extinction of animal species.

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Barroux’s drab, grey buildings contrast with crazy, multi-coloured trees – polka-dotted firs stand next to trees covered in flame-red autumn leaves and bright green palm trees and the result packs a punch.

Where’s the Elephant? is suitable for children aged two years and over. Find it in all good book stores or online at Book Depository who deliver for free to Australia.

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Katrina Whelen

Katrina studied planning and design, did the hard yards working in a big office building and then traded it all in for a relaxing (!) life at home with four children. She now fills her time with writing, completing a degree in genetics and taxiing her children around Melbourne to their various sporting commitments (not necessarily in that order).

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