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|Elephant in the dark|
Author: Javaherbin, Mina
In this version of the blind men and the elephant, based on a poem by Rumi, Persian villagers try to figure out what strange animal in a dark barn has arrived from India.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 3.00
Points: .5 Quiz: 176955
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: K-2
Reading Level: 2.50
Points: 1.0 Quiz: 67219
Kirkus Reviews (06/15/15)
School Library Journal (08/01/15)
The Hornbook (00/11/15)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 07/01/2015 Elephant in the Dark is an amusing retelling of a poem by the thirteenth-century Persian poet Jalal al-Din Rumi. When a merchant returns to his village with a mysterious creature procured in India (an elephant), the villagers are impatient to see what it is. One by one, they creep into the dark barn and emerge declaring that they know exactly what it is based on contact with one part of the strange beast: a slithery nose, a tall sturdy leg, a floppy fan-like ear. Amid wildly differing guesses, the villagers argue over the animal’s identity late into the night. Eventually, they learn the truth (which the reader knew all along), and it becomes clear that partial knowledge is a dangerous thing. Colorfully illustrated in the style of Persian miniatures, the book’s depictions of the villagers approach caricature at times, as often occurs in Western renderings of Eastern cultures, and may merit classroom discussion. Pair with Ed Young’s Seven Blind Mice (1992) for an alternate take on this folktale. - Copyright 2015 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 08/01/2015 K-2—A merchant has brought a strange creature from India to a Persian village, and the locals are curious. The merchant puts off his neighbors because it is too dark in the barn and he wants to sleep. The villagers sneak in one at a time to figure out what is inside. Each one feels a different part of the animal, coming to a different conclusion about its identity. They are so busy squabbling among themselves that they miss seeing the elephant the next morning as the merchant leads it to the river. The villagers never see the wonder of the elephant because "they each knew only a small piece of the truth." This picture book is based on a poem by Rumi. Yelchin's illustrations are bright and colorful and filled with expressive faces. They take the story to an imaginative level. The story is told simply but with a meaningful impact. VERDICT Young readers and teachers who enjoy folktales with an entertaining moral will appreciate this story's message.—Kris Hickey, Columbus Metropolitan Library, OH - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.