Try th­ese tales of friend­ships

Post-Tribune - - Post-Tribunei Iq - LUCI HAND Luci Hand is a re­tired school prin­ci­pal who lives in Porter County. Email her at ljb­hand@com­cast.net.

O ne of the fas­ci­nat­ing an­i­mals of our world is the ele­phant. I find it in­trigu­ing that there are two species spread out across the world. How did they get sep­a­rated and yet stay so nearly the same?

Have you thought about what it would be like to work at an “ele­phantery”? Ele­phant day care?

I didn’t know there was such a thing un­til I read “Mr.

Ele­phanter,” brought to us by Lark Pien.

We join Mr. Ele­phanter on his way to work. His job is to take care of the Ele­phanties at the Ele­phantery. We watch as he fixes break­fast (pancakes) for the three lit­tle ones, then takes them to the lo­cal swim­ming pool and a walk through the city streets. Then they go into the park and the zoo, where they meet an old friend, a big ele­phant, a grad­u­ate.

Af­ter a nice visit, they are back home and trou­ble comes be­fore they set­tle down for a nap. Dur­ing the nap, Mr. Ele­phanter cleans up, and when the lit­tle ones awake, they play un­til it is time for him to go home.

Farewells are made and he heads home. His rou­tine be­fore he goes to work is on the in­side of the front cover, and on the in­side back cover, we find his go­ing-to-bed rou­tine. Neat use of in­side cov­ers.

In “Oliver’s Tree,” brought to us by Kit Chase, we meet three friends — Oliver, a lit­tle ele­phant; Lulu, a lit­tle squir­rel; and Char­lie, a lit­tle rab­bit. They have a great time play­ing in the woods, hide and seek, un­til Lulu climbs up in a tree and Oliver can’t reach her to tag her.

Dis­cus­sion en­sues and they set out to find him a tree that he can climb.

Their first find is too small. Oliver bends it way down. The next one has stronger branches but they are too far up the tree for him to reach. The next tree is per­fect. It has a strong branch that reaches al­most to the ground. Oliver promptly climbs up on it, and it’s great un­til — crash — it breaks.

Dis­cour­aged, Oliver leaves his friends and goes off to mourn and falls asleep. While he is nap­ping, his friends de­vise a ground level “tree house” for him based in a large stump. They can all play in this “tree.”

Ev­ery prob­lem has a so­lu­tion.

“Monkey And Ele­phant

Go Gadding,” by Ca­role Lexa Schae­fer, is an­other story of friend­ship. Monkey wants to go “gadding,” but Ele­phant doesn’t know what that means. Monkey ex­plains that it means to walk along and look around and see what you can see.

We fol­low them as they de­cide what they are do­ing, start out and find Un­cle Phump. They visit, get some cool hats to wear and set out again. This time they meet Cousin MeeMee and her three ba­bies. They en­joy vis­it­ing and play­ing to­gether un­til it is time to go home. Ele­phant agrees with Monkey that gadding is great.

This is a de­light­ful be­gin­ning read­ing chap­ter book.

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