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Ella: A Baby Elephant's Story: 01/06/09
Ella: A Baby Elephant's Story is one of a series of books based on current animal research. Each book is designed to teach family relationships while also teaching about the animal and it's environment. In the case of Ella, the story is about an elephant herd and the birth of a new baby.
Until the baby is born to her aunt, Ella is the baby of the herd. Once the baby is born, Ella beings to realize how much she has grown. She takes on the roll of a big sister remembering the lessons her older brothers had taught her before they left the herd to live the bull herd.
By reading Ella, children will learn about the strong matriarchal lines in elephant herds, the importance of family and safety in numbers. Hyenas of course are a danger but Ella has learned from her family how to protect herself and the baby.
The book is illustrated by Lara Gurin. They are somewhere between photo-realistic and impressionistic. The pictures give a good sense of life on the savanna.
Besides the book, there is also a DVD with "carefully edited" BBC footage and a website for online games and videos for children. I am not reviewing the website as it requires me to sign up with demographic information about my children. There is absolutely no reason for them to be collecting such personal information.