"Stand back," said the elephant, "I'm going to sneeze!"

by Patricia Thomas

Other authorsWallace Tripp
Hardcover, 1971



Call number




Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Co. (1971): Weekly Reader Edition


Knowing the havoc it will cause, all the animals try to prevent the elephant from sneezing.

User reviews

LibraryThing member conuly
The elephant, of course, is going to sneeze. (Actually, there are youtube videos of elephants sneezing and not much happens because of it, but realism isn't the point, now is it?) So he warns everybody, and they start giving these long (long! don't read this book to a kiddo with a short attention
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span!) pleas, reminding him of the disaster that struck the LAST time he sneezed - the bear went bare, and all the hippopotamuseses fell on their bottomuseses, the feathers fell off the birds and the flowers off the trees.... Well! It was not a pretty picture.

But the poor elephant is undeterred. He MUST sneeze. He WILL sneeze... until he doesn't.

And this is so surprising he starts to laugh, and, well...

maybe he should have sneezed instead, that's all I can say.
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LibraryThing member daisydee_26
This is the BEST children's book I have ever read. My mom found it on ebay for me because I like elephants and I have been reading it to classes since I first started subbing and I am now going into my fourth year of teaching. It is hilarious and allows for different voices and expression during a
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read aloud!
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LibraryThing member mcegan
This book is a delight to read aloud. It just trips off the tongue.
"Stand back," said the elephant, "I'm going to sneeze!/ I hate to alarm you, /But I don't wish to harm you. /My friends, I fear /It's clear. ... /Oh, dear, /You'd better stand back, I'm going to sneeze.
LibraryThing member wilsonprojectplay
The best book from my childhood. My mom found a $0.05 copy at a rummage sale and read it to my sister and me every night.
LibraryThing member JDHensley
This story was about all the animals who live around the elephant begging him not to sneeze. His sneeze hurts all the animals in some way. Then the elephant starts laughing and can't stop and this has the same effect on them as the sneezing did. This story teaches children about many kinds of
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LibraryThing member lindyvee
This is a poetry book written in rhyme about a very large animal with a sinus problem. When he sneezes, it has dire consequences for all the other animals. They all plead with him not to sneeze, but it is the little mouse who prevents it by scaring the elephant. Then the elephant starts to laugh
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which shakes the entire jungle and its animal population causing the same reaction as the sneeze.

I love reading this book aloud to children. Their hilarious reactions are catching. It's impossible not to laugh with them. For hours afterward, they are still repeating the rhymes - such as "the bear in long underwear". They beg to hear it read again and again.

This book could be used to teach children rhyming words. By using flash cards, they could quickly say words that rhyme with the cards and create a silly story of their own. It can also be used to talk about animals and their anatomy and the silliness of what happened to them when the elephant sneezed.
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LibraryThing member evasmom
My daughter absolutely loved this book! She giggled and laughed out loud at this story no matter how many times we read it. My daughter is now 27 years old and this, she says, was her all time favorite book.
LibraryThing member pussreboots
"Stand Back," Said the Elephant, "I'm Going to Sneeze!" by Patricia Thomas is a doozy of a title. But it gets to the heart of this silly rhyming story. An elephant is having a bad case of sneezes and they are causing no end of trouble for the other animals.

The winning element for me on this story
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is the artwork. The illustrations are just the right combination of realistic and ridiculous. Take for instance the very surprised zebra watching his black stripes fly in all directions or the birds having their feathers blown off.

The book was first published in 1971 and reissued in 1990.
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LibraryThing member matthewbloome
This wonderful piece of rhyming verse is reminiscent of Dr. Suess in its short phrasing and rhyming text. Wonderful fun to read aloud as the animals' reactions to coming sneeze are quite comical. Good book.
LibraryThing member Macjam47
I first read “Stand Back,” Said the Elephant, “I’m Going to Sneeze!” when my children were little, and now all these years later, it still brings a chuckle or two. The story is written in rhyme with lots of humor by Patricia Thomas, and Wallace Tripp’s artwork is charming. If you can
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get your hands on a copy of this delightful picture story book, it would be a perfect gift for the young ones in your life.
All of the animals panic when the elephant says he going to sneeze.
“Beware, beware,”
Called the bees to the bear.
“The elephant says he’s going to sneeze.”
“Oh, please,
Not a sneeze,”
“That’s not fair.
I declare,
The last time he sneezed he blew off all my hair,
And left me so bare
I spent the whole winter in long underwear –

I love children’s books, but this is undeniably one of my favorite. I give it 5 stars.
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LibraryThing member avidrine
I absolutely loved this book. I thought it was very humorous. After all, my favorite books are comedies. I loved how the author made it rhyme because it was more enjoyable for me to read. I definitely want this book in my classroom library!
LibraryThing member athena.j
This is a book about a community of animals. When the elephant announces his coming sneeze, the other animals lose their respect for him. Then a small hero seemingly saves them all. I would use this book when talking about diversity, and learning to accept one another for who they are. A person who
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might seem like they can't do a lot can actually accomplish a lot in the big scheme of things!
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Original publication date


Physical description

32 p.; 26 cm



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