How to Be an Elephant

Growing Up in the African Wild

Written and illustrated by Katherine Roy

The savanna is not an easy place to live, even for African elephants, the largest land animals on earth. If it’s a challenge for these 7,000-pound giants, what’s it like for their newborn babies?
An infant elephant has precious little time to learn the incredible array of skills that are necessary to keep up, from projecting her voice across a 10-octave range to using the 100,000 muscles in her trunk to stay hydrated. But this giant-to-be has the perfect classroom—a family herd made up of her mother, sisters, cousins, and aunts. With their help and protection, she’ll learn how to survive, how to thrive, and how to be an elephant.

Roaring Brook / David Macaulay Studio, September 19, 2017. Age Level: 7 and up.

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Blog Posts About the Elephant Book!

Time-lapse Video: How to Be An Elephant Book Cover

People love the word “talent,” but most of what artists do is just time and work. Join me in my studio to watch behind the scenes as I paint the cover for HOW TO BE AN ELEPHANT at super high speed!
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How to Design an Elephant Book Cover

A baby elephant is basically the opposite thing of a great white shark. Unsteady and shuffling, small and pink, she begs for milk and whiffles her tiny trunk from beneath the safety of her mother’s towering legs. The cover for HOW TO BE AN ELEPHANT was challenging to create, bec
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Behind the Scenes with HOW TO BE AN ELEPHANT

Holding your book for the first time is a little like meeting your newborn baby. After investing weeks or months (or even years) of work and worry, your heart is skipping about with joy. Look at you, amazing little thing that I made! You’re finally here! I wish my ears were big
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The Bright Side of Totally Missing My Deadline

It’s been exactly one year since my last blog post. In the past 365 days, a lot has changed. For one, we’ve moved out of a one-bedroom, walk-up apartment in New York City and into a three-bedroom, two-bath house in a small town in Oregon. For another, our infant son is now a toddler,
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