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Elephant appreciation day is September 22, 2022. Explore these fantastic facts and elephant books to show your appreciation of these great animals.    

10 Amazing Elephant Facts

  1. We all know that elephants are huge, but did you know that they are the largest living land mammals?  
  2. Elephants eat a lot, around 300-600 pounds of food per day. All that eating takes a long time, around 16 hours per day is spent on eating. 
  3. Elephants are herbivores, meaning they eat only plants. Elephants eat tree bark, grasses, shrubs, and fruits that are in their environment. 
  4. There are only 3 types of elephants alive today, the Asian Elephant known as Elephas Maximus and the African Elephant known as Loxodonta Africana. Within the African Elephant category there are two different types of species known as the African Bush and African Forest Elephant.
  5. Like humans, elephants can get burned by the sun. They use mud as sunscreen to protect themselves. 
  6. Elephants can live up to 70 years. 
  7. An elephant’s trunk or nose can have up to 40,000 muscles allowing them to pick up heavy items up to 700 pounds. 
  8. Elephants use their trunks as snorkels that allow them to submerge themselves in the water to cool off.  
  9. Elephants are social animals that live in herds. They will hug each other using their trunks to say hello and to show affection.
  10. Elephants have a smooth appearance but are covered completely in hair. They also have the longest eyelashes at 5 inches long. 

Books

Fold Your Own Origami Grassland Animals by Ruth Owen

Would you like your own mighty elephant sitting on your desk? Maybe if it’s a paper elephant! In this book, readers will learn to turn sheets of paper into grassland animals such as giraffes, zebras–and, yes, elephants! Each origami project features simple instructions and clear illustrations, as well as photos of the real animals to intrigue those interested in these magnificent creatures.

The Girl Who Stole an Elephant by Nizrana Farook

When Chaya steals first the queen’s jewels, then the king’s prized elephant, her prison escape leads her and her friends on an adventure through the jungle.

Free to be Elephant Me by Giles Andreae

It’s time for the Elephant Games! Every young elephant parades their talent in front of the king to earn their special elephant name. But Num-Num doesn’t have a special skill to display. With a little help from some familiar friends, will this little elephant learn that being yourself is the most important talent of them all?

Elephants Don’t Like Ants!: and Other Amazing Facts by Thea Feldman

Readers will love learning about elephants in this book that presents amazing facts in a highly visual way for young readers. 

Elephants by Kate Riggs

A basic exploration of the appearance, behavior, and habitat of elephants, Earth’s biggest land animals. Also included is a story from folklore explaining why elephants’ trunks are so long.

Elephants!: Strange and Wonderful by Laurence Pringle

Learn all about the elephant in this nonfiction picture book that explores every aspect of these giant mammals.

What the Elephant Heard by Charlotte Guillain 

Told in gentle rhyming verse, this beautiful non-fiction picture book follows the story of a herd of African elephants as they journey across the parched savannah in search of a water hole. The matriarch tells of all the sounds of the savannah and how the landscape has changed over the years. Still, she remembers where to find water, just as her mother did before her. Accompanying non-fiction pages at the end of the book include information on African elephants, their family structure and migration patterns, as well as the challenges of climate change, habitat loss, and illegal poaching, and what we as readers can do to help.

African Elephants by Kaitlyn Duling

Relevant images match the informative text in this introduction to African elephants. Intended for students in kindergarten through third grade

The Elephant by Jenni Desmond

Readers will enjoy this nonfiction picture book describing and comparing African and Asian elephants.

I wish I was an Elephant by Jennifer Bove

Explore the lives of elephants with Ranger Rick in this beginning reader with full-color photos of elephants in the wild! What if you wished you were an elephant, and then you became one? Could you talk like an elephant? Sleep like an elephant? Live in an elephant family? And would you want to? Find out! Ranger Rick explorers can learn all about elephants in this reader full of fascinating facts, vivid wildlife photographs, a Wild Words glossary, and a hands-on activity about how to play “elephant hockey” using your arm like an elephant trunk. Ranger Rick: I Wish I Was an Elephant is a Level One I Can Read, which means it’s perfect for children learning to sound out words and sentences.

A Parade of Elephants by Kevin Henkes

Illustrations and easy-to-read text introduce such basic concepts as adjectives, adverbs, daytime, and nighttime as they follow five elephants marching from dawn to dusk.

Elephants by Seymour Simon

From their ancient relatives, woolly mammoths and mastodons, to their amazingly versatile trunks and strong ivory tusks, elephants are some of the fascinating animals on Earth. Join award-winning science writer Seymour Simon as he investigates the many characteristics and behaviors of elephants and, with stunning full-color photographs, learn all about the largest land animals in the world!

If Elephants Disappeared by Lily Williams

This picture book format focuses on the elephant and informs the reader of the global impact losing just one species of animal can have.

A Circle of Elephants by Eric Dinerstein

Thirteen-year-old Nanda Singh, the youngest elephant driver in Nepal, enjoys a very special relationship with his tusker, Hira Prashad, through which he grows in understanding and compassion for all animals, including humans.

Baby Elephant Joins the Herd by Ben Richmond

A baby elephant is born in the African savannah. She joins a group of elephants called a herd. Follow along as the calf experiences eating, playing, and using her trunk during her first years of life. Baby Elephant Joins the Herd is filled with facts that will engage young readers in a fun way. Follow along as one baby elephant explores the world around her.

Celebrate Elephants through Art!

Use your imagination and bring life to these elephants with whatever colors you want!