Randal the Elephant

I don’t normally share picture books at ALWAYS in the MIDDLE. They’re for the under six crowd, right? Well, here’s my little confession: I love picture books and have read them out loud in the middle grade classroom and at a memorial service for a beloved librarian. They are quick to share, have colorful images, and most of all carry a lesson about life.

Randal is an otter but decides he can be anything in life and that anything is becoming an elephant. He goes to live with them and enjoys his time but in the end discovers who he really wants to be—an otter.

“What did you learn from Randal’s story,” I asked a group of twelve-year-olds.

The best answer was “You won’t know what you like to do unless you try.”

The illustrations are superb and show the various animals in the body posture appropriate for each scene. The backgrounds are soothing and just might have been done with water colors. A bonus in the final pages is a DID YOU KNOW? set of cool facts about elephants.

A great gift idea for the young dreamer in your life.

An Overview from Persnickity Press:

Randal the Elephant is a story of courage and self-identity. Randal dreams of being something bigger, much bigger than himself—an elephant. And he has the conviction to follow his dream.

Randal looks at the diversity in his world and sees its beauty and majesty. His friends embrace his choice and express their enduring love for him, no mater what his chosen outward identity.

Join Randal on his journey, never forgetting who he is, as he explores who he can become.

About the Author (from her website)

Ciara Gavin writes and illustrates picture books for children. She graduated from the National College of Art and Design in Dublin, Ireland. Her work appears in the National Museum of Decorative Arts and History there and has been exhibited at galleries throughout Ireland. She lives in Dublin with her son.

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Coming up next week is another MARVELOUS MIDDLE GRADE MONDAY.
If you would like to join in the MMGM fun, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book you love on a Monday (contests, author interviews and whatnot also count–but are most definitely not required) and email me the title of the book you’re featuring and a link to your blog at gpcolo (at) gmail (dot) com
 (Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so it gets sorted accurately–and please don’t forget to say what book you’re featuring) You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening (11 PM Eastern Time) in order to be included in the list of links for the coming Monday.
Thank you so much for being a part of this awesome tradition begun by Shannon Messenger and for spreading the middle grade love!
*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen reviews ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me.

About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...writing middle grade novels.
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3 Responses to Randal the Elephant

  1. Bibi Belford says:

    What a perfect gift for my friend who is obsessed with elephants! She works as a pediatric physical therapist and will love sharing the message in this!

  2. I love picture books as well. Thanks for telling me about this. I just ordered it from my local library.

  3. Many PBs are meant for adults as well. I love them and learn things I didn’t know. This book is especially sweet. Was surprised that it’s about otter identity, and not elephant. 🙂 Great share!

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