Sleeping Bear Press consistently publishes high-quality books.
All of their large, hardcover, library-bound books are beautifully
put together, with full-color illustrations in a variety of mediums
and charming text in their 32 pages. When Anju Enjoyed Being
an Elephant is another lovely addition to their line-up.
Anju, a young elephant, loves her life on the island of Sumatra.
However, when she is only five years old, she is stolen and sold
to a circus in America, where she spends the next 39 years. After
that experience, Anju lives another 15 years as a lonely elephant
in a small zoo. Then one day, Anju's mahout, an elephant
caretaker, asks this elderly elephant to take one more journey.
As they travel miles and miles to her final destination (a beautiful
elephant sanctuary with plenty of other elephants for company),
Anju reflects on her circus days and her zoo days. But mostly she
remembers how much she loved being an elephant in Indonesia before
With soft colors and realistic paintings, this book brings Anju
to life. I read this book to my grandchildren, and even the youngest
child stayed engaged. It is not fast-paced, but it helps young
readers connect with Anju and captive elephants around the world.
Three pages at end of the book give readers "Elephant Facts" and
ways we can help elephants. I learned some things I didn't know
before about elephants! They communicate by infrasound,
a rumbling which is too low in frequency for human ears to pick
up. This is just one example of the interesting facts you can weave
into your studies and use to spark further interest.
An added bonus--and one of the reasons I love Sleeping Bear books--is
the free pdf file available on their website: http://www.gale.cengage.com/pdf/TeachersGuides/Anju.pdf
The guide is full of learning activities that reinforce the story
concept--math, language arts, graphing story events, and thinking
skills. A parent can get a lot of mileage from one book this way.
I appreciate the extra effort the publisher has gone to in order
to make these activities available to teachers and homeschooling