Elephants Cannot Dance!

Citation: Willems, M. (2009). Elephants Cannot Elephants Cannot DanceDance! New York: Hyperion Books for Children.

Ages: 4 – 9

Grades: PreK – 2

Description:  In Elephants Cannot Dance! Piggie tries to teach Gerald how to dance.  Gerald is convinced that Elephants cannot dance, while Piggie is not. Gerald eventually tries to dance, and ends up doing the opposite of what Piggie instructs.

Uses:  Elephants Cannot Dance! is one of Willems’ Elephant and Piggie books that are ideal for beginning readers.  The book features Willems’ characteristic sparse images and text bubbles to tell the story.  Because the story is told through Elephant and Piggie speaking to each other, it is not the best choice for a traditional read-aloud during storytime. However, the plot would lend itself well to a storytime puppet show. Librarians and teachers can act out the story, and then invite children to dance. Librarians can even use the elephant prop as a way to engage students: librarians can instruct children to show elephant their best dance moves, or to teach elephant how to dance.  The book is also ideal for display because of the familiarity of Willems’ works. Familiarity with Willems’ works and style of writing will lead parents and children to be more comfortable checking out the work, and reading the get moving message.

Review Sources:

Elephants Cannot Dance!. (2009). Publishers Weekly, 256(20), 55.

Smith, R.L. (2009). Elephants Cannot Dance!. Horn Book Magazine, 85(4), 433 – 434.

Search Terms: elephants, pigs, dance

Babar’s Yoga for Elephants

Citation:  Brunhoff, L. de. (2002). Babar’s yoga for elephants. New York: Harry N. Abrams.  

Age: 3- 8

Grade: 0 – 4

Description: In this book, Babar explains yoga for elephants and people. The story begins with a discovery by archaeologists in Babar’s home of Celesteville: drawings to show that not only did ancient woolly mammoths do yoga, but they invented it. Using this storyline, Babar explains basic stretches and movements, while traveling to different landmarks around the world.

Use:  Babar’s Yoga for Elephants is well suited for children’s storytimes and programs aimed at teaching younger grade children yoga. The book’s narrative style invites interaction from the students:  the librarian can read the narrative, explain the poses, and then invite participants to join in.

Review Sources: School Library Journal, Publisher’s Weekly

Kropp, Lisa G. (2003). Babar’s Yoga for Elephants. [Review of Babar’s Yoga for Elphants.] School Library Journal, 49(4): 148. Retrieved from: http://web.a.ebscohost.com/novp/detail?vid=58&sid=f84f9f85-81e6-45f2-be2a-f3af2f78b6c3%40sessionmgr4004&hid=4109&bdata=JnNpdGU9bm92cC1saXZl#UI=214473&db=neh

Staff . (2002). Babar’s Yoga for Elephants. [Review of Babar’s Yoga for Elephants.] Publisher’s Weekly, 249(32):298. Retrieved from: http://web.a.ebscohost.com/novp/detail?vid=58&sid=f84f9f85-81e6-45f2-be2a-f3af2f78b6c3%40sessionmgr4004&hid=4109&bdata=JnNpdGU9bm92cC1saXZl#UI=214473&db=neh

Tags: babar, elephants, hatha yoga, yoga, exercise