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Once Upon an Elephant    by Linda Stanek & Shennen Bersani order for
Once Upon an Elephant
by Linda Stanek
Order:  USA  Can
Arbordale, 2017 (2017)
Hardcover, Softcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

Elephants are an important part of the African savanna. Their presence is felt in many ways, often in ways you'd never have guessed.

When there is drought, elephants dig in the hard earth with their tusks to reach the water under the mud, providing drinking water, not just for themselves, but for other animals who gather around and drink. When the trees grow so thick and strong in the grasslands that they threaten to turn the area into a forest, the elephants are there to keep them under control. They use their strong trunks to pluck the sprouts and saplings, leaving the fields open for the gazelles, lions and mongoose.

Those are just two of the ways elephants play an important role in the ecosystem of their habitat. Once Upon An Elephant describes many more. In the African savanna, elephants are a keystone species. Linda Stanek's story explains how real challenges by other species in the Savannah are met with the help of habitual patterns used by the elephants. The story is clear and beautiful and the illustrations are lovely.

Arbordale Publishing uses the last two pages to add facts and ideas for discussion. Addition information, activities and quizzes are offered online.

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