Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Uncle Elephant (I Can Read Book)” as Want to Read:
Uncle Elephant (I Can Read Book)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Uncle Elephant (I Can Read Book)

3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  535 Ratings  ·  53 Reviews
Uncle Elephant comes to the rescue when his nephew's parents are lost at sea and cares for him until they are found again.
Hardcover, 62 pages
Published October 27th 1981 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 1981)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Uncle Elephant, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Uncle Elephant

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Laura Verret
I’ve come to know and love Arnold Lobel through his Frog and Toad series, so when I found Uncle Elephant lingering ‘round at a thrift store, I bought it. I hoped it would be as good as Frog and Toad. So was it?

Just about. It doesn’t have the same happy humor as Frog and Toad – it’s actually a tragedy-laced story - but the sweet love is present. See, Young Elephant’s parents go for a sail in their boat. A storm brews and they are lost at sea. Little Elephant sits in his room, sad and scared, unti
Nicola Mansfield
Jan 02, 2012 Nicola Mansfield rated it liked it
Reason for Reading: Ds read aloud to me as his reader.

A nameless little elephant is left alone as his parents go for a sail and end up lost at sea in a storm. Out of the blue Uncle Elephant arrives, takes him to his house where they have a wonderful series of getting-to-know-you adventures, until everything works out in the end.

This book is more like a collection of short stories, like the Frog and Toad books, than a comprehensive story but it is held together by the first and last chapters whic
Nicole Fellows
The story "Uncle Elephant" is about a young elephant whose parents get lost at sea. His uncle comes to take care of him. They spend several days together where his uncle tries to make him happy. Finally, the young elephant's parents are found and he returns home.
I thought this was a cute story and it was fun to read about all of the things that the young elephant and his uncle did together. However, I thought it was a little strange that no one seemed too upset when Mother and Father Elephant
Joshua Tetreau
Dec 04, 2016 Joshua Tetreau rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Uncle Elephant is another great story written by Arnold Lobel, this time emphasizing the importance of family. The book is written in an interesting fashion, 1st person! The story turns into feeling like a novel written by a friend of yours, which in this case is an elephant. Even before you get into the story, you can understand how personal the book is.
The images are drawn in the same way as his other books, small and in the corner, but still play an important part of the book, bringing the s
Sep 28, 2010 Leslie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: early-readers
This is one that I liked more than my little reluctant reader. It's an ideal first chapter book for the beginner reader who has a year of learning under their belt. There are nine chapters and the reading level is perfect for the average child somewhere between first and second grade. The longest words I could find include: counting,wrinkles,opening,peanuts,everything,picture and of course, elephant. Why didn't my (at the time) 6 year old like it? Well, I suppose because it's sort of a sweet, ca ...more
Jan 23, 2015 Eliott rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Small Pig: Small Pig was a good pig. I loved Small Pig but the mud got sucked up in the vacuum because it was so dirty in the pig pen and he liked to sink in the mud. I felt bad for Small Pig when all his mud went bye-bye.

Mouse Tales: This was a funny one about how the pants fell down and this old mouse did not like children but they fixed his pants with chewing gum so now he likes children.

Uncle Elephant: I felt bad for the elephant because his mother and father went bye-bye but then Uncle Elep
Uncle Elephant was a tale about a young elephant boy whose parents get lost out at sea. He is sad and lonely until his Uncle Elephant comes to take him back to his house. They have beautiful days, telling stories, singing, and making each other laugh when they felt sad. At the end of the book the boys parents are rescued at sea and he is returned to them, although him and his uncle promise to visit often. I thought that it was a well written kids book,and that it could be very helpful to read to ...more
Rosa Cline
Jan 21, 2017 Rosa Cline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids, death, 2017
Little Elephants parents have to go away on a ship; but because he is sick he stays home. His parents get lost at sea and don't come back. Little Elephant is sad, until Uncle Elephant come and get him. Uncle Elephant take care of him and plays with him and tries to help make him happy again. Sweet little book about a relationship between a nephew and uncle; how they love one another and just become friends. Written very well. It is a chapter book so if your beginning reader can't read the entire ...more
Elizabeth S
Nov 20, 2011 Elizabeth S rated it liked it
Shelves: c-beginner
A rather sad tale. Warning: parents may want to read this alone before reading to their kids, since the parents die in the beginning of the book. The ending helps (view spoiler), but I wasn't prepared for my preschooler to deal with such a sad subject. In no way am I not recommending this book, I just think it helps for parents if there are potentially emotional issues in a book. For me, I like to read it and see how it is handled so I'm prepare ...more
Feb 01, 2012 Audra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: little-girls
I thought this was a nice little book. My daughter liked it less, and was insistent that the little elephant have a name - so we named him Arnold. She also insisted the mommy and daddy were alive, and the Uncle should not have cigars. There were funny parts - the Uncle putting on ALL the clothes, to balance the sad parts - missing parents. A sweet little story, with a picture on each page. The words were all age appropriate for young readers.
Jan 05, 2013 Miriam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2013
I couldn't love this book more. This was the first book I ever read all by myself, aged 3, tucked up in bed and reading half the night. Obviously, it's a huge landmark book in my life, so I approached rereading it with a bit of trepidation. I'm so glad that I did, however, and I got to experience this warm, wry, and witty book all over again. Uncle Elephant is one of the best books and characters I've ever encountered.
Alisa Hardman
Jul 22, 2008 Alisa Hardman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. When a young elephant's parents go missing, his elderly uncle comes to take care of him. He is very sensible but also tender and sweet as he cares for his nephew and tries to take his mind off his worry about his parents. Our family's favorite part of the book is the song that Uncle Elephant sings. We made up our own tune and love to sing it. My kids are old enough to make fun of me for getting a little teary-eyed every time I read it, but we enjoy this book very much.
Apr 19, 2014 Lauren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s
Leif and I read this, and were very sad at the first chapter when it seems the parents have passed away. Had to read the whole thing through so we would find that it wasn't so scary after all. We do love elephants, though. And with Frog and Toad being such good fits, this was a very similar feeling read.
Aug 10, 2011 Martinray2 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ray-s-canon
Arnold is probably my favorite author/illustrator for young children.
It seems to me his recurring theme is the need in this world for kindness and loyal friendship.

Uncle Elephant deals with this theme in a way that pushes the envelope and the boundaries of a child's fear of abandonment and loss.
Unfailingly gentle in both picture and tender prose.
Dec 04, 2015 Roger rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
The title of the first chapter, Uncle Elephant Opens the Door, reminded me of Mary Poppins Opens The Door. You have to be very good to start your children's book with an allusion to Poppins. Arnold Lobel delivers. The story is interesting and the artwork is awesome, although I'm partial to elephants anyway. Especially the elephant flying his own plane.
I thought this story was just ok. I thought it was weird how the uncle came when the parents were thought to be dead and no one seemed to care about the parents. I am glad that the parents did not die, but it was puzzling to think that no one was sad.
Good little reader for my 7 year old boy. He definitely enjoyed it - he got into the stories (some more than others) and even cracked up a time or two. He enjoyed the illustrations and did a great job reading through this.
I liked this book but it wasn't my favorie. I could tell that it was an old story, however, I do think that it is an excellent beginning chapter book for kids. I think that when kids complete a book like this they will feel that they have accomplished something.
May 20, 2013 Leslie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s
Elephant's mother and father are missing. Uncle Elephant collects him for a visit while they are being searched for. These short stories are of Uncle Elephant's time with his nephew.

Ages 4-8 / Reading w/help.
I didn't really like it because it seems like it's going to be a book to help children deal w/ the loss of a loved one but he never talks about it; just entertains the id by distracting him w/ stories, etc. I don't think that's a healty way to cope.
Lea Beall
This is a book about a little elephant whose parents are lost. He goes to live with his uncle and must learn to manage separation and uncertainty. His Uncle is a wise elephant and he learns from him after a time and is comforted. It had a nice ending.
May 19, 2014 Joe rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
So, the kid's parents mysteriously disappear and the kid thinks, at some point, that he has three wishes. None of those wishes are spent trying to locate his parents. What kind of message is this sending? Yay, orphans!!!
Nikki Fox
Jan 26, 2014 Nikki Fox rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it to my 3 year old daughter tonight, and she loved it. We thought the parents passed away...but ended up with a happy ending...lily grabbed the book and kissed the elephants at the end because she was so happy! We love all Arnold Lobels books...every single one!
Oct 15, 2015 Paula rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sweet Story

This is such a sweet story . My 7 yr. old granddaughter loves reading it to us when she visits.
Dec 12, 2008 Cheryl rated it it was amazing
Shelves: easy-chapter
I love Arnold Lobel! Pair this with a nonfiction elephant book for a good fiction/nonfiction lesson.
Danielle Miskin
Cute story. Child Elephant connects with his old uncle elephant. Easy read. Kind of long. Shows a good relationship. Uncle elephant is a good role model
Michelle Brandstetter
EL Skills - Letter knowledge, phonological awareness & narrative skills. This is a magical book.
Apr 23, 2009 Christine rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
Beginning Reader Book: Sweet story
Jul 24, 2011 Theresa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review
a good early reader
Gillian Dawson
Sep 03, 2015 Gillian Dawson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-book
Arnold Lobel is a master of the simple, sweet stories and characters. Who wouldn't want Uncle Elephant to hang out with them for a weekend.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Oliver
  • Dinosaur Time
  • Mr. Putter & Tabby Pour the Tea
  • Dragon's Fat Cat
  • And I Mean It, Stanley
  • Zack's Alligator
  • Mouse and Mole, Fine Feathered Friends (A Mouse and Mole Story)
  • Houndsley and Catina (Houndsley and Catina, #1)
  • Penny and Her Song
  • Sam the Minuteman
  • Amelia Bedelia and the Cat
  • Splat the Cat: The Name of the Game
  • Harry and the Terrible Whatzit
  • "What is That?" Said the Cat
Arnold Stark Lobel was a popular American author of children's books. Among his most popular books are those of the Frog and Toad series, and Mouse Soup, which won the Garden State Children's Book Award from the New Jersey Library Association.
More about Arnold Lobel...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »