Since yesterday was World Elephant Day, I wanted to share some of my favorite books about elephants! Elephants are incredible creatures – and so much fun to see in person. I wanted to compile a list of my favorite books about elephants for you to share with your kids. (And in the process, found some great elephant reads for you too!)

These are all personal favorites and kid-approved. So raise your trunks and settle down with one of these great elephant stories. Happy reading!

 Books about elephants

For the Kids:

1. Elmer by David McKee

It’s nearly impossible not to fall in love with Elmer! Elmer’s story is perfect for teaching children about the beauty in being an individual. This is a must for your child’s bookshelf.

2. The Story of Babar: The Little Elephant by Jean De Brunhoff

Babar’s story is truly a teaching tool. Whether you are raising awareness of the dangers wild elephants face or simply want to introduce new vocabulary to your child, you’ll want your child to meet the ever elegant Babar.

3. Elephants: A Book for Children by David Henry Wilson

The photographs in this book are INCREDIBLE. This book features 80 gorgeous photos of elephants that you and your child will love to look at. This book is sure to become a fast favorite. Don’t miss this one!!

4. Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss

Horton is perhaps one of the most beloved literary characters of all time. In this classic must-have book by Dr. Seuss, kids learn that EVERYONE matters. You won’t want to miss Horton Hatches the Egg either! (It’s great for teaching kids about the importance of keeping your promises and being faithful!)

5. Dumbo: A Little Golden Book

Who doesn’t love Dumbo? Dumbo teaches us that no fear cannot be overcome and nothing is impossible. Cheer for the underdog and believe in yourself – even when you face adversity.

6. There is a Bird on Your Head! by Mo Willems

Mo Willems is so much fun. He has written a whole series of “Elephant and Piggie” books. All of his books are funny, whimsical, and big hits with kids. (Even young children sit well for Mo Willems stories!)

7. The Magician’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo

Kate DiCamillo is one of THE authors to watch in the realm of children’s literature. I eat up everything she writes. This book is no exception. This chapter book is best suited for upper elementary grade – middle school students, and would make a fantastic read-aloud. An elephant falls through the ceiling in a magic trick gone wrong. What happens next is everything. Don’t miss this one! (This may be our next read-aloud!!)

8. Ella the Elegant Elephant by Carmela D’amico

Ella is the smallest elephant on Elephant Island and nervous about starting school. Ella is wonderful as she learns to stand up for herself, be who she is, and let her good heart shine. Great (and adorable) read.


Elephant Books for Adults

When I started to write this post, it wasn’t my intention to include books for YOU. However, as I started to do research, it became clear I couldn’t write this post without including them. Parents rarely make time for themselves – and reading is so often my sanity. Hope you see a title or two that piques your interest.

For the Parents:

1. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

Elephants may be a supporting character in this love story, but the bond between Rosie, Marlena and Jacob is the real show-stopper in my book.

2. The Elephant Whisperer: My Life With the Herd in the African Wild  by Lawrence Anthony

Lawrence’s story is fascinating. Read about the time he spent traveling and living with an actual herd of wild elephants.

3. Modoc: The True Story of the Greatest Elephant That Ever Lived by Ralph Helfer

Fall in love with Modoc as you read about his life, and the incredible relationship he formed with a young boy. You will love this story of friendship and adventure.

4. Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II by Vicki Croke

This is the story of “Elephant Bill,” the man who befriended, defended and sought to protect elephants, and then utilized them in World War 2. This is an incredible tale of daring and friendship, as well as a story of wartime heroism. A must-read if you love elephants or if you have a strong interest (like I do) with World War 2.

5. Love, Life, and Elephants: An African Love Story by Daphne Sheldrick

What a powerful story! This is the story of Dame Daphne Sheldrick – the first person to successfully raise newborn elephants. This is her story – the story of her life as a conservationist, as a friend to animals, and the story of her love. Truly a remarkable and fascinating read.