There's lots to like in this 2011 picture book:
- It pairs interesting facts about elephants in "torn paper" sidebars with poems that illuminate the factual info.
- It's an engaging concept that keeps the typical, dry nonfiction animal presentation kids usually see fresh.
- Poetry genres include free verse, haiku, rhymes, letters, sonnet, and concrete poetry, forms middle grade students usually study.
- Poetry enthusiasts will recognize a parody on William Carlos Williams famous poem "This Is Just to Say" in which an animal trainer apologizes for lacing elephant treat with medicine. This poem could be a mentor text for middle grade students asked to write their own "apology poem."
- Finally, middle schoolers are often asked to do animal reports which usually end up as a copy/paste of sources used. (As a school librarian I've seen these assignments way too often!) How refreshing to offer this text as a model for the "new" 21st century animal report as it combines language arts, critical thinking and creativity all in one assignment!