The Secret Elephant: Inspired By a True Story of Friendship (Hardcover)

The Secret Elephant: Inspired By a True Story of Friendship By Ellan Rankin Cover Image

The Secret Elephant: Inspired By a True Story of Friendship (Hardcover)


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A remarkable friendship between a baby elephant and her keeper shows that kindness is never forgotten. Inspired by a true story, this uplifting picture book is a perfect read for animal lovers of all ages.

While carefree monkeys dangle in trees, powerful lions quietly sunbathe, and majestic giraffes walk back and forth, a terrible war looms on the horizon and changes everything. People stop coming to the zoo and most of the animals huddle together with their mates in their different enclosures-- except for one baby elephant that was all alone.  As bombs shake the ground and flashes of orange light burn across the sky, the solitary elephant grows more and more afraid and confused. Her keeper understood and spends as much time with her elephant as she can.  And when it becomes impossible to stay in the enclosure, the keeper makes the daring choice to bring the elephant home.

But it’s hard to hide an elephant, even a baby one, and it gets even harder as the elephant grows. After a time, the elephant is ordered back to the zoo.  Still, the kind-hearted keeper could not abandon her friend, so she sets up house right alongside the elephant for the remainder of the war.

Many years later, when the keeper no longer works at the zoo, she returns to visit her friend. Her friend, much older now as well, remembers the keeper and her brave kindness.

Inspired by a remarkable true story at the Belfast Zoo during WW11 perfect for fans of The One and Only Ivan and the award-winning documentary The Elephant Whisperers.
Ellan Rankin is a Northern Irish author-illustrator who earned an MA in Children's Book Illustration from Cambridge School of Art, and a First-Class Honors degree in Illustration from the Jordanstone College of Art & Design. Her picture books combine her love of animals with her experience in animation. She lives in Belfast, Northern Ireland
@ellan rankin
Product Details ISBN: 9780593703267
ISBN-10: 059370326X
Publisher: Random House Studio
Publication Date: April 23rd, 2024
Pages: 32
Language: English
"Rankin offers an unusual animal story and illustrates it with expressive, richly colorful paintings. A memorable story of friendship." —Booklist

"Heartwarming." —Kirkus Reviews

"A well-done portrait of one woman’s quiet act of wartime courage, recommended for larger collections." —School Library Journal