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Ella the Elegant Elephant
Ella the Elegant Elephant
by Carmela D'Amico
Illustration by Steven D'Amico

Ella is terribly nervous about the other kids she'll meet on the first day of school. Then she receives a beautiful red hat that belonged to her grandmother. But when a girl at school teases her, it looks like trouble until Ella discovers just what a good heart can do.
Age: 4 Year-olds | Title: Ella the Elegant Elephant  |  Author: Carmela D'Amico  |  Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Ella is terribly nervous about the other kids she'll meet on the first day of school. Then she receives a beautiful red hat that belonged to her grandmother. But when a girl at school teases her, it looks like trouble until Ella discovers just what a good heart can do.

With an excellent storyline and beautiful illustrations, Ella The Elegant Elephant is a definite winner. It is also is the recipient of the Pacific Northwest Regional Book Award. The story follows Ella who feels very different at her new school because of her big, orange hat. The book also focuses on bullying and leaves you with the message that no matter how you're treated, the best idea is always to be nice to everyone.

Children will truly empathize with Ella as she experiences a lot of anxiety about her first day of school. They will relate to all the situations Ella get into with her friends. As your child thinks about the story and personalizes it, he or she will likely ask you a lot of questions about why certain things are happening to Ella. By reading the book together, your child will build reading comprehension and critical thinking skills.

The end of this book really demonstrates that it is okay to be your own person, even if others might give you a hard time. This story brought up memories about getting made fun of when I was six for wearing the wrong kind of sneakers at my new school. This story demonstrates that if you are kind to others, difficult social relationships will become easier to handle.

--Eve

"This is a wonderfully whimsical story written in perfect harmony with the times we live in. A story about an elephant, new to town, shy, and nervous facing a bully, trying to do what is right. With the help of a gift from her Grandmother, Ella stands firm and faces her bully, Belinda, head on. As we follow Ella through the story, we feel her insecurity and concern over her ability to deal with the uninvited bullying. We see others laugh and turn against her when she tries to remain strong."

"In the end, it is the bully who needs help. And while those that snickered at Ella when she was being taunted and teased, making fun of the gift that her Grandmother gave her that meant so much to Ella, stood by and watched, Ella went above and beyond and used her special gift to save Belinda the bully from harm."

"My 3 and 4 year old daughters have read this book at least 20 times since receiving it two days ago. It is a clear winner in our house. And when my 4 year old takes it and "reads" it to my 3 and 1 year old daughters, she clearly explains the story and how being mean to others is not nice. She tells them that having a unique gift does not make you different, but special. I have even caught them running to grab their own hats that their Grandmother gave them!"

"I highly recommend this book to anyone who has or knows children in preschool or school. It is a great conversation opener about bullying and how to handle it. The message is clear and the presentation is wonderful!"

--Lori Pace, A Day in Motherhood

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