Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Just for Elephants

Just for Elephants

Carol Buckley
Non Fiction
For ages 8 to 12
Tilbury House, 2006   ISBN: 0884482839

Shirley is an Asian elephant who has had a long life performing in a circus and living in a zoo. Now Shirley is being sent to a sanctuary where retired elephants live out their lives in comfort. When Shirley first arrives at the sanctuary, they put her in a large elephant barn so that she can adjust to her new surroundings. One of the resident elephants comes in to see Shirley, and the two elephants greet each other like long lost friends, which is just what they are. Shirley and Jenny once worked in the same circus together. Even though they haven’t seen one another for twenty years or so, the two elephants remember one another and they are delight to see one another again.

With Jenny by her side, Shirley starts to explore her new home. She goes swimming in the swimming hole, she gets to know the other elephants, and for the first time in her life, she experiences what it feels like to live in a group, the way elephants in the wild do.

This incredibly touching book will show young (and not so young) elephant fans that elephants are incredibly sensitive and complex animals. They remember their friends and they, like us, love to spend their time with companions.

Beautiful full color pictures throughout the book show readers what it was like to witness this special reunion.

Readers who want to find out more about Shirley and the other elephants at the Elephant Sanctuary should visit the sanctuary website at