The Ant and the Elephant

by Bill Peet

Paperback, 1980



Call number




Clarion Books (1980), Edition: Illustrated, 48 pages


Of all the animals the elephant rescues, only the tiny ant returns the favor.

User reviews

LibraryThing member JordanMyers
I liked this book for many reasons. First, I loved the way the writing was organized. Bill Peet created a story about how an ant, at first, gets stuck on a stick out in the water. This sets up a train reaction of other animals denying the other one help and then themselves getting stuck. The reason
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this was almost comical was the language Bill made the animals use when refusing to help the stuck animals. This is seen when the turtle is flipped on his back and asks a bird for help. The bird responds “I could but I won’t. This will teach you not to be so clumsy.” These kinds of situations are what made the characters what the author wanted them to look like, “selfish”. He was able to make them look as though they thought they had never needed anyone else help. I also enjoyed the tension of the book. The animals that had all now denied others of help all needed help their selves other than the ant who had originally got stuck. They were all stuck until the Elephant came around. This is where the tension and a bit of the conflict arise. The elephant was able to help all of the smaller animals out of their predicaments but none of the animals are appreciative other than the ant. This pushes the children to see how being unappreciative looks. I liked how it wasn’t over after the Elephant saved all of the animals. Of course, the Elephant himself has to get stuck. This is where the author put a question in the readers head, “Who will save the Elephant?” Through the character development, there was only one that I thought would help. The illustrations, the author did himself, were able to convey this better than I could have ever thought. The Ant comes, the only one that was appreciative, and helps the elephant out of being stuck by getting thousands of his other ant friends to carry him out. This book was able to shows children the importance of kindness and the consequences of acting arrogant towards people in need of help.
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LibraryThing member drmom62
Two for the story and 4 for the illustrations





Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

9.75 inches


0395292050 / 9780395292051


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