February 17, 2021

Book Review: Strictly No Elephants

Strictly No Elephants
"Strictly No Elephants" written by Lisa Mantchev, illustrated by Taeeun Yoo

The concept of inclusion can be a difficult one to help children understand. Reading aloud the book Strictly No Elephants, by Lisa Mantchev is a great way to begin a discussion about including everyone. The story’s main character is a little boy who has a “tiny” elephant as a pet. He talks about how hard it is to have a pet that is so different than the pets most people have. He shares some of the struggles he has as a pet owner. The climax of the story is when he goes to a Pet Club at someone’s house and when he arrives there is a sign on the door stating “Strictly No Elephants”. The little boy is so sad that he and his elephant are not included, but soon finds there are other people and pets that have not been included either. They decide to make their own club where everyone is welcome.

This book provides the perfect opportunity to spend time talking with the children you interact with about how it feels to not be included and what you can do when you or someone else is excluded. The book is empowering in that it shows children who make the best of an unpleasant experience and bring about change. It reminds each of us that we can be the one to make a difference. The book is simple enough to share with even the youngest of children, yet the concepts introduced can be just as important for older children. If you are looking for a book that will provide for great discussion, pick up a copy of Strictly No Elephants.

Why Sharing Books is Important to Me

Reading is something that has brought me joy and helped me relate to others and the world around me throughout my life. I believe that sharing books together is one of the quickest and most effective ways to connect with one another. Sharing books about life experiences can bring us closer even when our experiences are vastly different. On this blog, I share some of my favorite books that help me connect with my refugee friends. I hope as you find out about great books about refugees you and your children will feel a connection with their experiences and recognize that we are all more similar than we realize. I also share books that might help you to teach the children in your sphere of influence more about compassion, tolerance, and kindness as these traits help bring us all a little closer in the world.

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