Thundering trumpets, could it be?? HAPPY BIRTHDAY, elephant book!!
Yesterday at approximately 8:03am, How to Be an Elephant was born into the world! With flapping ears and whiffling trunks the herd gathered to welcome the little 14.9-ounce newborn, and with her gorgeous print job and four starred reviews, I am one proud mama to my second book. The birthday party that began for her in New York City has already migrated north to Vermont, and next month we’ll be celebrating at schools, libraries, and bookstores in the San Francisco Bay area. I hope some of you can join in for the fun and festivities!
In the meantime, here’s a few ideas for how to party like a baby elephant:
1) Dance on your toes! A baby elephant may weigh 220-pounds at birth, but she’s built to balance on her feet right from the start. A fatty pad inside each heel cushions her foot with every step, which absorbs shock and sound and keeps her permanently balanced on her tiptoes. How many dance moves is a baby elephant born with? Nobody knows for sure. But there’s plenty of room in the middle of the herd to try out new steps and fancy footwork.
2) Play with your nose! Is your nose part hand, part arm, and part shower? An elephant’s trunk is the most multipurpose animal appendage in the world. With over 100,000 muscles crisscrossing its length and two opposing “fingers” at the very tip, a baby elephant can use her nose to eat, breathe, sniff, splash, and blow out her birthday candles once a year. What undiscovered talents are hidden up your nose? Proceed with caution, and try to avoid a trip to the ER.
3) Drinks and dessert! A baby elephant gets the nutrition she needs from her mother’s milk, but stealing samples from the mouths of nearby adults is a great way for her to learn the local cuisine. Food that’s already been eaten is also helpful to her growing body and has enough nourishment for a second pass. Yup, that’s right, you heard me—baby elephants love to eat poop. Maybe don’t bother saving room for dessert at this particular birthday party!
Thank you all for reading, and may your September be full of baby elephants! I’ll be back next month with stories from the road and a fresh look at what’s next on my desk. And in the meantime, check out my interview with Julie Danielson over at Kirkus and Seven Impossible Things—it’s a long-time dream come true to see my offspring in her arms. Stay safe, stay dry, and enjoy the start of the brand new school year.