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!

Ten Minutes to Finish My Book

Give birth to child. Check. Host family visits. Check. Next up: Finally finish How To Be An Elephant! I’m not exactly sure what my new life as an author-mom looks like, other than that there’s a lot more baby in it than before. A baby—with its around-the-clock needs as it
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Elephant Summer

The past few months have been full of many things: writing a manuscript, drawing a book, attending my first library conference, and—last but not least—getting ready for a baby! My son is due to arrive any day now, forever changing the lives of my husband and I in ways that we can̵
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The Many Lives of Page One

When I was in high school, dreaming of being an illustrator, and even while at RISD on my way to that goal, I really had no idea how many drafts it could take to get a drawing right. A couple of thumbnails, a color sketch, and WHAM BAM KABLAM, make the final art, right? Finger paintin
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Learning through Sketching

At this point, I’ve read a great many books and papers about elephants. I’ve watched hours and hours of YouTube videos and documentaries. And I’ve seen thousands of images posted on the Internet. I’ve filled an entire notebook with notes about their diet, circulation and migration rou
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