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The Elephant and the Bad Baby
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The Elephant and the Bad Baby

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  945 Ratings  ·  64 Reviews
The Elephant and the Bad Baby is the classic story from Elfrida Vipont and Raymond Briggs.

The Elephant takes the Bad Baby for a ride and they go 'rumpeta, rumpeta, rumpeta down the road.' They help themselves to ice creams, pies, buns, crisps, biscuits, lollipops and apples, and the shopkeepers follow them down the road shouting and waving. All ends well as the Bad Baby le
Paperback, 32 pages
Published February 22nd 1979 by Puffin (first published 1969)
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Apr 19, 2011 ·Karen· rated it really liked it
This is one of those beautifully repetitive, rhythmic books that will have children finishing the sentence for you in no time, especially when the elephant goes rumpeta rumpeta rumpeta all down the road, perfect for the language beginner to learn the names of truly essential food items like cake, ice cream and biscuits, as well as the shops where the elephant takes a pie for himself and a pie for the bad baby .... there, you've got me doing it now too. And of course, even more essential than foo ...more
Fiona Prunty
Sep 10, 2012 Fiona Prunty rated it really liked it
“The Elephant and the Bad Baby” by Elfrida Vipoint and Raymond Briggs.
This is a fictional story about an elephant and a “bad” baby who wouldn’t say “please”. One day the elephant meets the bad baby and offers him a ride in to town. They go to several food shops and the elephant grabs the food that the baby wants. All the owners from the different shops are angry and they follow the bad baby and the elephant. Suddenly the elephant stops and the bad baby flies off and the elephant realises the bab
Tim Roast
Mar 26, 2014 Tim Roast rated it it was amazing
The Elephant and the Bad Baby is one of my 3-year-old’s favourite books. It is an ideal bedtime story as it has a rhythm to it that can lull your child to sleep.

The elephant meets a bad baby so takes him for a ride. Along the way he asks if the bad baby would like buns, lollipops etc. from various shops they pass, and the bad baby always says yes. This leads to the shop owners such as the baker chasing after them in an ever increasing band. But the bad baby never once said please so gets his com
Jun 13, 2013 midnightfaerie rated it it was ok
Shelves: childrens
I enjoyed it, but my kids were a little bored. They had a hard time staying engaged with this one, even though I pointed out things in the picture and emphasized certain favorite words like ice cream, it didn't seem to help. I loved the use of the old-fashioned words like grocer and sweet shop, it helps to expand my 5-yr-olds vocabulary. But overall, we probably won't be reading this one again.
Bridie Jones
Feb 05, 2016 Bridie Jones rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book due to the humour within the story. personally, I think that this story would work well for children above the age of 3. The book is teaching children a valuable lesson of manners, but it doesn't state this until the end.. the baby is represented as a 'bad baby' from the very beginning with no reason explained.

however, I did enjoy the notion of the elephant taking the baby on an adventure to learn. the involvement of different type of people, e.g. baker, sweet shop, were enga
Caroline Watkinson
I really enjoyed the fact the book seems to be centred around the moral of saying please, and there is the theme of learning as a child throughout the book. In addition, the listing aspect of the characters in the story paired with the illustrations makes it have a classic flow.

It raised several questions for me, such as is the "Bad Baby" bad because he doesn't say please or is there other reasons behind it? However, i feel that the book does well to leave this ambiguous as i feel this could op
Amy "the book-bat"
This is a very cute story about an elephant that meets a baby and gives him a ride through town. The town's people end up chasing after the elephant and the baby and the story repeats everyone in the chase as more people join in. It is good for young children and early readers because of the repetition. The artwork is fun as well.
Mar 18, 2015 Rosalynde rated it it was ok
An elephant and a baby go around stealing things. The baby doesn't say please so the elephant gets upset. Then the baby's mum makes everyone pancakes.
I'm not sure what the message is in this book. The baby gets all the blame but still gets rewarded.
Raymond Briggs is the only thing I enjoyed about this book.
Baby Adam
Sep 19, 2016 Baby Adam rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 10, 2010 Susan rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books-jp
rumpeta rumpeta rumpeta.
This is an odd little book. The elephant and the bad baby steal a bunch of food. Everyone gets upset with the bad baby for not saying "please" and seem to temporarily forget the elephant's crimes.

The repetition is kind of fun and I liked saying "rumpeta, rumpeta, rumpeta" but this book didn't keep my daughter's attention. It was listed for ages 0-3 (my daughter is 2) but would probably be better for an older child. Also, the message about stealing is kind of an odd one, and the Bad Baby is shame
Sheri Radford
Feb 27, 2017 Sheri Radford rated it it was ok
Shelves: kids
I'm not clear why this picture book has become a classic.
Oct 04, 2016 Lance rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Cheeky babies
Recommended to Lance by: Baby Adam
Shelves: adam
"and they went rumpeta, rumpeta, rumpeta, all down the road ..."

This is a charming British tale of a gregarious elephant and a baby boy whose eyes are bigger than his stomach. The setting of a gentrified industrial seaside town is very relatable and quaint. The illustrations are gorgeously simple, the bad baby clad all in white and the sleek grey form of the elephant. I enjoyed the detailed signage and accessories in each of the illustrations, this should keep older toddlers engaged as they are
I don't know how to review this one. My child likes it, mostly because he likes 'rumpeta, rumpeta, rumpeta' and elephants, but when I read it to him he asked me "name bad is?" and I went gah! 'um ... it means he's not doing what someone else wants him to do' and my heart almost broke that he'd made it through 2.5 years without knowing that innocent babes could be labelled 'bad' but that I then foolishly read him a book that says yes, babies can be BAD.

I freaking adore the naughtiness and Raymond
Sep 06, 2013 Zahara rated it liked it
The Elephant and the Bad Baby by Elfrida Vipont

A charming story of an elephant that befriends a little baby and shows him around town, taking food the baby would like to eat.

The trip around town begins at an ice cream van where the elephant asks the toddler if he would like an ice cream which the baby replies with a “yes”. The elephant then helps himself to an ice cream for the toddler and heads off with the unhappy ice cream man running after the both of them. Next, they pass a butcher’s shop.
Rosie Howard
Sep 08, 2013 Rosie Howard rated it liked it
In this story, an elephant goes on a walk through a town with a bad baby who he meets on the way. The two characters help themselves to whatever they fancy on their journey through the town, including taking ice cream from the ice cream man! The two characters are chased down the road by all the town folk who they have taken things from, until at the end the elephant comes to a halt as he realises the bad baby did once say please for all of the things he got for him.

On each page, after the elep
Sep 16, 2011 Allison rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Toddlers & up
Recommended to Allison by: 1001 BYMRBYGU
Shelves: 1001-cbymrbygu
What makes him a "bad" baby is that he doesn't say "please". The illustrations and story are humorous but I don't personally like the labeling of the baby as "bad". I don't like labeling in general to begin with and I could see an insecure child internalizing the sense that they are "bad" for forgetting to say "please".

Also, as someone who recognizes missed opportunities and feels compelled to point them out, the elephant could have been pointing out to the baby at each event that it needed to s
Jul 03, 2014 Clarissa rated it really liked it
I love this book even though it makes no sense. The elephant gives the Bad Baby a ride on his back. At each store they pass the elephant asks the baby if he would like something from the store. When the baby says yes, the elephant takes the offered item and eats one and gives one to the baby. No money is exchanged. The store owners chase after the elephant and the baby. All of a sudden the elephant becomes upset that the baby never said please. He stops running away from the shopkeepers who are ...more
This is silly. But in a way that makes me vaguely uncomfortable. And copyright in 1960s makes that make more sense. I just wouldn't feel comfortable with this. I think that ALL the stories we tell kids teach them something (even the "only" silly ones), and I just honestly have no idea what this would teach them. We're using this language of "bad baby" about this kid, we have chasing adults, we have stealing as clearly bad? but not? and then all that matters is saying "please"? but not? and why i ...more
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Aug 10, 2010 Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children, kids-1001

The Bad Baby goes for a ride with the Elephant. The Elephant uses his long trunk to take ice cream from the ice cream man and meat pies from the butcher and buns from the baker and gingersnaps from the snackshop man and chocolate cookies from the grocer and lollipops from the lady from the candy store and apples from the fruit and vegetable man. The ice cream man and the baker and the butcher and the snackshop man and the grocer and the lady from the candy store and the fruit an
Jan 08, 2016 Katherine rated it it was amazing
This book came up in a "customers who bought that book also bought this" list, so we took a chance and were absolutely delighted to have done so. This is the current best-loved story of my two-year-old and we read it at least once a day. Fortunately it is a delight so I can assure you that you won't object to reading it, even if it is the 500th time!

The story works at all levels: it is funny, it has a long list of characters which children love to reel out, it has lovely illustrations and it tea
Mar 08, 2016 Ophélie rated it it was ok
Shelves: listofbetterment
This is the story of an elephant giving a ride through town to a "bad baby", that never says please. I found the book a bit confusing at my first reading because I couldn't understand why the baby was "bad", which is an important part of the book, I guess.

However, the story is entertaining thanks to the rhymes, the illustrations are amusing and refreshing, and the variety of the words used could be a great introduction to new words for a young child.
Nov 23, 2013 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
I'm guessing that the reason my two year old loves this story so much is the repetition, rumpeta rumpeta rumpeta, and he likes to point out all the yummy treats that the elephant offers the baby. My concern is not that the baby never said please. It's not even the fact that the elephant is free to roam around town stealing from hard working shop keepers. My concern is why is the baby out & about alone to be picked up by an elephant in the first place? Bad parenting.
Sep 28, 2013 Kate rated it really liked it
For whatever reason, my kids LOVE this book. I think it is because the baby is always referred to as "the bad baby" and the elephant always goes "rumpeta, rumpeta, rumpeta."

This book is repetitive and building, like The Gingerbread Boy, so that as the elephant and the bad baby make their way down the street, a new townsperson is added with each turn of the page. The end is ridiculous, but satisfying.

Maria Salvatierra
Apr 07, 2016 Maria Salvatierra rated it it was amazing
This was one of my favourite books as a child and when we had children, I delighted in reading it to them. The repetition and great illustrations mean it is easy for the child to learn and begin to help telling the story themselves. The moral of the story is valuable for all children I'm sure, but even without that it is a lovely story.
Jan 18, 2012 Joanna rated it really liked it
My son smiled throughout the entire reading. His eight year old cousin read the book to him. The 8 year old says he liked it - not alot. He didn't like the reiteration of 'the baker, the butcher..' etc. because "too many words." I'll have to disregard this criticism. I love that both boys, despite their four year age difference, were able to enjoy the same book together.
Such a cute story. I loved the repetitive parts, especially the "rumpeta, rumpeta, rumpeta down the road" bits. The pictures are a delight as well, so much fun to look at and scrutinize. I may pick this one up for my little cousins as I think they would enjoy it.
Jennifer Foeller
Very British. 'Crisps' instead of potato chips, 'biscuits' instead of cookies and several other differences. Cute book, thought my 5 year old didn't understand why the baby was bad. She still loves anything with elephants though, so still enjoyed this one.
Michelle Brandstetter
EL Skills - Print motivation, & phonological awareness. Activities - Read & talk. I can remember our oldest trying and trying to win at a carnival game to get his little brother his very first elephant. He named her Missy.
One of my children's all time favourite bedtime reading books. Between the ages of 1 and 4. What a naughty pair the elephant and the bad baby are. And what fun they have! A great moral in the story too.
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Born in Manchester in 1902, Elfrida Vipont Brown was the daughter of devout Quakers, and was educated at Manchester High School, before studying history at Manchester University, and singing in Paris, London and Leipzig. She worked for a time as a professional singer (experience she would use in her books), married research technologist R.P. Foulds in 1929, and had four daughters. Vipont published ...more
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