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UNCLE ELEPHANT by Arnold Lobel


By Arnold Lobel

Pub Date: Sept. 9th, 1981
ISBN: 0064441040
Publisher: Harper & Row

Uncle Elephant has "more wrinkles than a tree has leaves" (or, as he goes on, than a beach has sand or the sky Stars), and he "feels the creaks" when out walking. But when the little elephant's parents are lost at sea, Uncle Elephant takes his nephew to live with him and entertains him with childlike fancies. He introduces the little elephant to the flowers in his garden ("Roses, daisies, daffodils, marigolds, I want you to meet my nephew"); he tells him a charming story about an elephant king and prince helping each other home; he cheers him up, when the subject of parents makes both of them sad, by wearing all his clothes at once; and he writes the little elephant a captivating happy song of his own. And when the little elephant's parents turn up rescued, Uncle Elephant takes his nephew home, sharing the family celebration but regretting that their days together are over. A model uncle and a warming relationship, projected with a resonance that invites dwelling on, and re-reading.