9 Picture Books to Celebrate the Elephant

posted by Toka Box Editorial Team , August 16, 2020

Who doesn't love elephants? Let's celebrate with these fun books!

1. Ranganna

Written by Arthi Anand Navaneeth, Illustrated by Kavita Singh Kale

Ranganna is the story of a cute little elephant who loves colors. He lives by the temple, near a Dhobi Ghat right next to a flowing river and loves to see the colors in everything. His two friends, Aditi and Anushka, come up to him one day with nail polish on their nails. We love the absolutely adorable storyline, the stunning colors and illustrations, and the dance illustrations at the end of the book! We also admired the way the author has managed to find the love for colors in everyday things like a Dhobi Ghat and flowers sold in the temple. In today's rushed life, I don't think I ever associated the riot of colors with Dhobi Ghats and flowers in the temple.

Age 2+

Buy this book now!

Toka Shop |  Amazon India

2. Gajapati Kulapati Series

Written by Ashok Rajagopalan  

Kalabaloosh - One hot sunny day, Gajapati Kulapati is complaining of the heat. And so are everyone around. The friendly grandma - Paati in Tamil, suggests that they could go to the pond and cool off. Everyone rushes to the pool. But what happens when Gajapati Kulapati goes to the pond? Why do the children want him to come again in the pond the same way? But the adults don't? What does Paati suggest?  

Gurburrroooom - The third book in the Gajapati Kulapati series by Ashok Rajagopalan, this book is as fun as the others. An absolute riot to read aloud to the preschool set, complete with noises and all the fun the big, gentle elephant can bring! We loved this book so much we picked it as our Toka Junior book last September.

Ages 2 +


Buy this book now!

Toka Shop | Amazon India

3. Elephants Never Forget

written by Anushka Ravishankar, Illustrated by Christiane Pieper

After a sudden storm, a little elephant finds himself alone in the Jungle. Where can he turn, his herd is gone, the monkeys are no help.....What about the buffaloes? Anushka Ravishankar's lyrical text and Christiane Pieper's striking illustrations bring to life this heartwarming tale of a loyal elephant with a long, long memory!

Ages 3+

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Toka Shop | Amazon India

4. An Elephant in My Backyard

Written by Shobha Viswanath, illustrated by Sadhvi Jawa

Maya and her Paati (grandmother) visit the temple every Friday and see the temple elephant Sangu. Sangu has a baby whom Maya names as Acchu because when she asks him his name, he sneezes Achoo! Acchu follows Maya home and her parents and grandparents suspect that there is an Elephant in their backyard.  We loved the fact that Maya addresses her parents as Appa and Amma - like my daughter and her grandparents as Thatha and Paati - again like my daughter. She was excited to find that the characters in Maya's life have counterparts in hers. We love the cute way the baby elephant holds the mommy elephant's tail and goes home, and the child-like illustrations for the story -  the bright watercolors and not too much white space. It draws you into the world of the book!

Ages 2+

Buy this book now! 

Amazon USA 

5. 8 Ways to Draw an Elephant by Paola Ferrarotti with various artists


8 Ways to Draw an Elephant is an interesting mix of Indian Art traditions presented in the most adorable form, the Elephant. Targeted for ages 3 and up, this book presents interesting facts about elephants intertwining it with Indian art forms like Meenakshi, Sohrai, Mata ni Pachedi and more. Apart from Art, this book got us talking about patterns, shapes, motifs and our other elephant friends . This book was in one of our February Toka Junior boxes for preschoolers.

Ages 3+

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Toka Shop | Amazon USA

6. How to Weigh an Elephant by Geeta Dharmarajan, illustrated by Wen Hsu

The king wants his favorite elephant weighed! No one in the kingdom knows what to do except little Lilavati. Lilavati is the daughter of the mathematician Bhaskaracharya who named his mathematical treatise after her. The book is a great introduction to Lilavati and the concept of the Archimedes principle. This book was part of our December 2016 Toka Explorer Boxes

Ages 5+

Buy this book now!

Buy this book now!

Toka ShopAmazon India

7. Magnificent Makhna

written by Aravind Krish Bala, illustrated by Sandip K Luis

A majestic elephant protects the forest from timber traders, tree cutters and poachers. One day, the Forest Department receives orders to hunt the elephant down. An absorbing read based on true events, it highlights the complex cause of conservation! 

Buy the book now!

Toka Shop | Amazon India

8. Why the Elephant Has Tiny Eyes

Written by Pow Aim Hailowng, Illustrated by Priya Kuriyan

"The first chaang, the first elephant, once had big eyes,  
Which the animals thought looked beautiful and wise. 
Then, along came a bird, a wagtail, and…" 

Told in verse, this folktale from the Tai Phake people of India’s northeast is gentle and funny!

Buy the book now!

Toka Shop | Amazon India

9. Lai-Lai the Baby Elephant 

Story and photographs by Shekar Dattatri 

Don't miss this filmmaker's book on an elephant's disappearing world. With beautiful photographs and a lovely tale that also tells us about deforestation, Lai Lai the Baby Elephant is a bilingual picture book written by the famous wildlife filmmaker, Shekar Dattari. 

Shekar Dattatriis a wildlife filmmaker with a special fondness for elephants. He has spent a lot of time observing and filming them in the jungle. A beautiful English-Hindi bilingual book that explores the world of wild elephants through stunning photographs and informative text in English and in Hindi, with lovable elephant cartoons. 

Like a time machine, this book takes us to view the life of Lai Lai from Day 1 to when he is more than 7 yrs of age. Lai Lai, the cheerful little elephant wanders forests of South India with his mother and aunts, who protect and guide him.

Buy the book now!

Toka Box | Amazon India

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