A baby is born and the world rejoices!
With a loving mama, a trumpeting herd, curious cousins, and even some dancing peacocks heralding this little one’s arrival, it is apparent that the joy and wonder a new baby brings is shared by all!
Varsha Bajaj’s lilting prose and Eliza Wheeler’s enchanting scenes of a wide-eyed baby elephant and its smitten family celebrate the importance of family and community in every child’s life. Set in the lush wilds of India, this is an endearing, beautifully illustrated tribute to little ones getting their first warm welcome to the world.
August 2, 2016
Up to Kindergarten
(www.varshabajaj.com) grew up in a rambling house in Mumbai, India, surrounded by coconut, guava and betel nut trees. When she came to the United States to obtain her master's degree, her adjustment to the country was aided by her awareness of the culture through books. She has written two previous picture books, as well as the middle-grade novel Abby Spencer Goes to Bollywood
, which was recently shortlisted for the Cybils Award and included on the Spirit of Texas Reading Program. She lives in Houston, Texas. Eliza Wheeler
(www.wheelerstudio.com) wrote and illustrated Miss Maple's Seeds
and has also illustrated several picture books and novels. She grew up in northern Wisconsin in a family of teachers, musicians, and artists. Some of the strongest influences on her creativity have been the wild Wisconsin seasons, canoeing the Brule River, picking blueberries with her grandmother, and digging through the snow with her brothers. She received the SCBWI Los Angeles International Conference Portfolio Grand Prize for her artwork. She lives in Los Angeles, California.
“Glowing . . . gorgeous artwork lushly illuminates the day of an elephant’s birth. . . . The expressions on the elephant faces are sheer joy to behold; the elephant smiles are realistic and yet radiate affection. Seemingly simple, this gentle rhyming story works on two levels: the playfulness of the young elephant and its friends ensure that young children will be able to see themselves in the story, and given the depiction of the natural scenes, at least some young readers will become fascinated with the lives of elephants as well. . . . The soft cadence of the rhyming verses and the joyous pictures of the elephants will make this a bedtime favorite.”—Kirkus Reviews
“The soft, gently repetitive text quickly establishes a soothing message of love and acceptance. . . . Bajaj focuses on a female-centric cast of elephants, subtly referencing their matriarchal societies, and glancing mentions of monkeys and peacocks give a fuller look at the book’s Indian setting. . . . Wheeler evokes a lush environment of towering banyan trees and dense vegetation, helping create another personified character in the setting. It’s an intimate and celebratory look at the early days of an elephant’s life, and a reminder that human births are pretty special, too.”—Publishers Weekly
“A newborn elephant is celebrated in a timeless manner by its herd and other animals in a wild Indian environment. . . . The landscape . . . is peaceful and lively. Scenes of the baby happily splashing in the water and sitting high atop a rock while gazing at the nighttime stars are especially fun and sweet. Rich vocabulary and engaging artwork are sure to delight readers and young listeners.”—School Library Journal