Sunday, July 22, 2007

24. Elephants Can Paint Too! by Katya Arnold

Nonfiction book annotation
By: Angela Wilcox

40 pages

Arnold, K. (2005). Elephants can paint too! New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers.

Author Creditability: This is a project implemented by the author, Katya Arnold and her husband Alex Melamid. This book is written by Katya Arnold on her experiences during the project.

Summary: This book is written by the author about a project her and her husband worded on when Thailand started conserving trees and elephants began dying out do to lack of keep because they could not earn it. She explains how she teaches art in two different schools, one is in the city and one is in the jungle. She explains how she teaches elephants to paint and compares the artwork of her two different students, humans and elephants. Additional information on the elephants and different techniques are included in inset text boxes.
Most Important Access Features: This book inset text boxes with information on elephants and different techniques used to get them to paint. The words that are used to compare the children to the elephants are done in 2 different colors and in larger text to make it stand out. There is an Author’s Note that explains the study and how people can obtain artwork done by elephants and support the elephants. There are also photo credits and acknowledgments for who all helped in the project and in writing this book.

Description of Illustrations: This book contains photographs taken by the author and various others who helped with the project. The end pages are done in an abstract painting from kids’ abstract painting by Oote Boe. To me, they look like what an elephant painting would look like when he uses his trunk to spread paint on a canvas.

Grade Level & Uses: K-5; I believe this book could be used the lower grades if the teacher read it to them. It would work will with a zoo unit or on studying elephants and on conservation.
Standards: Science as inquiry; Life Science
Related Texts & How Related: The following books could be used along with Elephants Can Paint Too! to talk about zoo animals, elephants and conserving them.

A Kids’ Guide to Zoo Animals by Michelle Giders
Zoo by Gail Gibbons
Zoo Animals by Brian Wildsmith
Faithful Elephants: A True Story of Animals, People, and War by Yukio Tsuchiya & Ted Lewin
Elephant by Steve Bloom
Just for Elephants by Carol Buckley
There are also numerous books on different animals that could be added to a unit on zoo animals.

Ala Notable Children’s Books. Younger Readers (Awards)

Personal Response to Book: This was a very informative and easy book to read. I feel like I can defiantly use this book with my first graders when I do my zoo unit and we are talking about elephants. I believe the kids will love the idea that elephants can paint. I also like that they have the website where you can go and observe some of the elephant’s paintings—the kids will really get a kick out of that!


Tassie Rosamond said...

This sounds like a book I should have read for my art book annotations! I've seen something either on tv or in a book about cats painting, but I know my students would love this...pairing two things they love-animals and painting-makes for a great book!

Christy said...

I actually got to see an elephant paint at the Birmingham Zoo when my son went for his Kindergarten field trip. It was a lot of fun to witness. I'm glad I got to see it. They did sell her paintings, but the price was too much for me to buy.