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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Advance Praise for HOW TO BE AN ELEPHANT

  • ...a stunning blend of natural science and art.
    —Kirkus Reviews

Blog Posts About the Elephant Book!

Spiked Lunch: Behind the Scenes with HOW TO BE AN ELEPHANT

If you are what you eat, elephants are basically one big walking pile of acacia leaves. They eat other plants too, of course—some populations of elephants have hundreds of different greens to choose from—but the elephants that I met in Kenya loved acacia plants, enormous spikes and al
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Mistakes Were Made: The Evolution of Ideas

There are all of these little moments in my sketches that never make it into a final book, raw ideas that are loose and messy that capture the feelings or information I want to work into in a scene. Some are diagrams, some are page spreads, some belong in a future, unwritten project.
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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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Scientific Research for HOW TO BE AN ELEPHANT

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