"Stand Back," Said the Elephant, "I'm Going to Sneeze!"
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"Stand Back," Said the Elephant, "I'm Going to Sneeze!"

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4.33 of 5 stars 4.33  ·  rating details  ·  467 ratings  ·  93 reviews
Knowing the havoc it will cause, all the animals try to prevent the elephant from sneezing.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published April 23rd 1990 by William Morrow & Company, Inc. (first published 1971)
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Connie
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 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 fl...more
John Yelverton
This is an absolutely wonderful children's book that will delight everyone who reads it.
Eva Leger
Oct 22, 2010 Eva Leger rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Eva by: library
Shelves: julias-books
This is super cute! I was surprised Julia got as into the illustrations as she did, just because of the more reserved tone but she really, really enjoyed them. She devoured each page. I'd be lying if I said I didn't do the same.
The story is one of the few that really can make you LOL. In a time when this little term, three little letters, make everything seem so darn funny, this story really is.
We read in the back of the book that this was Patricia Thomas' first book! I'm going to have to see...more
Sarah Sammis
"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 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 hav...more
Melissa
Our copy of this book is a Weekly Reader edition that belonged to my husband when he was little. Delightful art, bursting with personality and humor. The rollicking rhyme works well for this silly tale of animals begging an elephant not to unleash his powerful and destructive sneeze. A frequent read-aloud request from my younger children. (I admit: when the toddler is the sole requester, I usually only read the first couple of lines on each page. The book is a bit text-heavy for a two-year-old,...more
Ruth
I grew up having this book read to me and now I get to read it with my kids. It rhymes, though it isn't as rhythmic as I'd like it sometimes. The pictures are fun and the storyline is nonsensical and amusing. Lots of fake sneezing happens during the reading of this book.:-)
Melanie
An oldie but goodie! From 1971 this classic tale of an elephant who's going to sneeze will set storytimes rolling with laughter. I love that all animals included in this story actually belong in Africa. Even the bear, which is an Atlas Bear, now thought to be extinct.

When the elephant announces that he's going to sneeze, he is met with multiple requests to desist. Each animal details the results of his last sneeze. Birds went without feathers, bees without stingers and zebras without stripes! Yi...more
Maggie
My favorite children's book of all time, this one is sure to have everyone cracking up.
Kimber
This book has been a long time favorite at our house. I'm reviewing it today because I want anyone reading this review who has young kids to get a copy! I read it to my Kindergartener's class today and even though it's a long-ish book, they were completely engrossed in it and laughed and laughed at the end. It is such a wonderful book all about what happens in the jungle when an elephant sneezes. The rhyming is fantastic and it's even fun to use different animal voices as you read it...i.e. bees...more
Amy Musser
Oh no! Look out! The elephant thinks he’s going to sneeze! This sends the other animals into a panic. The last time the elephant sneezed the birds lost all their feathers, the stripes flew off the zebra, and the monkeys fell out of the trees. The elephant tries, but he really can’t help it he’s about to sneeze. And then at the very last second out pops a mouse with a deafening, “BOO!” The elephant is so scared that he forgets to sneeze! The animals think they're saved, but then the mouse explain...more
Christy Johnson
Written entirely in poem form, this book enchanted me as a young child visiting my Grandparents. In fact in 6th grade when we had to recite a poem for the class I chose this book- the entire book. Needless to say it is permanently engraved on the fiber of my brain forever.

The story follows an elephant who is fighting off a terrible sneeze and warns his friends to stay away. They panic and remind elephant of all of the humorously catastrophic things that happened before (Oh, please, not a sneeze...more
Donna Crane
The tension builds for young readers as the animals relate in dramatic fashion the LAST time the elephant sneezed. "The last time you sneezed we lost every feather. We didn't know whether/We'd ever get back together. Every parakeet/Was as bare as a sheet/From his head to his feet" we read as the elephant writhes in agony, trying to suppress the inevitable windstorm. There's the hippopotamus who will fall right on its bottom-us, the bear who'll lose all his hair...you get the picture. Then out ju...more
Michelle
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 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,”
Calle...more
Klarissa
Dec 04, 2013 Klarissa added it
Shelves: t-l-307
The elephant tries to warn everyone that he is about to sneeze. We follow what happens to the rest of the animals when the elephant sneezes. Just as he is about to sneeze the little mouse yells “BOO!” to scare the elephant in order to make him forget about sneezing. The little mouse’s plan works but as he explains his reasoning for his actions; the elephant starts laughing so hard that he falls on his back. The elephant laughing too hard sends the other animals into havoc as if they would if the...more
J.L.
This was a childhood favorite (my parents’ copy was falling apart for years, but they still have it, the spine held together with duct tape) and for Valentine’s Day, my mother sent me a reissued copy. So I re-read it for this packet. No wonder I loved it as a kid. It’s hilarious—all about an elephant who realizes he needs to sneeze, and the animals who plead with him not to because of the horrible things that happened last time. So instead he starts laughing, and he chortles so long and loud, th...more
Alisha
Jun 22, 2010 Alisha added it
Shelves: eng-353
“Stand Back” Said The Elephant, “I’m Going To Sneeze!” written by Patricia Thomas, is a funny, rhyming story. Each animal in the book tells a story about what happened the last time Elephant sneezed. After each animal tells him why he should not sneeze, a little mouse scares him and the elephant doesn’t have to sneeze anymore. However, the elephant finds it so amusing that a little mouse could scare him that he laughs and laughs. He laughs so hard that all the things the animals were afraid of h...more
Bree
Notes:
funny rhyming 'story' - animals asking elephant to please not sneeze; pictures are even funnier; my kids giggle throughout this book every time
Emily
A childhood favorite!
Jennifer
Favorite book as a child!
Don Gubler
Okay, but by no means great.
Susan
This was one of my favorite books when I was a young reader. The ridiculousness of an elephant's sneeze scaring the other animals, combined with the illustrations of the elephant trying to hold back the sneeze makes this a classic read-aloud.

This is a great rhyming book for kids in 1st and 2nd grade. Kindergartners will appreciate the silly story, too, but it may be too silly for 3rd grade.

If you need a giggle with the kids, read this one.
Kathleen Ruff
"Stand Back," Said The Elephant, "I'm Going To Sneeze!" was a great book. This book can be used in a lesson about rhyming words. The children can write the ryhming words they or clap when they hear them. Writing the words on the board as they are found and later finding the ending that makes them ryhme is another hands on idea. I believe it is an attention getter and the children will love a chance to be involved in the lesson.
Carol
If we could give it a thousand stars we would. My Aunt Jo gave Emily this book when she was a baby and it is our favorite book. I know it by heart and we've read it thousands of times and still giggle and laugh every single time!!! One of the most special memories Emily and I will always have....Aunt Jo gave me the best gift anyone could have given. It was never meant to be just a book :-)....so smart and thoughtful Aunt Jo!!!!
Gina
This is the first book that I can ever remember reading. My grandma would read to me in the day when she babysat me and she had a bag of books that we would read from. There are quite a few but this one stands out as my favorite in my memory. When I got older, my grandma gave me the bag of books and now my own children have read them as well. I hope they inspire the love of reading as they did to me! 5 stars!
Sarah
This book was my absolute favorite when I was little as well as my mother's when she was growing up. A few years ago I went out of my way to find a copy of this book to give to my mother for Christmas because our copy had gotten lost somewhere along the way. I fully intend to have a copy on hand when my own children are old enough for bedtime stories.
Relyn
Oct 15, 2011 Relyn rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: teachers, parents, kids
Recommended to Relyn by: Kelly Schmitz
Shelves: lawsonland
This is marvelous, wonderful, fantastic book. My friend Kelly loved this as a child and brought it out to use in our writing lessons. This is an excellent example of a cumulative tale and humor, among other things. I want a copy of my own to use with other classes. It's fantastic.
Kimberly
I credit this book with igniting my love of reading as a child. With it's whimsical characters and their zanny reactions to an elephant's sneeze, this book will forever remain a five-star read. To this day, I giggle when reading it to my four year old daughter!
Kristie
This is the first book I ever remember hearing read to me (by my mom!). Several years later I stormed out of my first storytime at the public library, since I'd already heard the book so many times I could recite it from memory (which, by the way, I still can!).
Stacie
I think this was my favorite book as a kid. It was the one book I sought out to read to my kids. They weren't as impressed, perhaps it's the graphics that aren't as vibrant as today's books, but I love the rhyming, flow, and funny twist at the end.
Kate
my favorite book from childhood. many of my closest friends have been forced to sit through story time with this book. i have stickers all over the back. see? even as a child, i showed my love with unnessecary plastic objects.
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Patricia Thomas is the author of Firefly Mountain; There Are Rocks in Socks, Said the Ox to the Fox; The One-and-Only, Super-Duper, Golly-Whopper, Jim Dandy, Really Handy Clock Tock Stopper; and Stand Back, Said the Elephant, Im Going to Sneeze, featured on the PBS Storytime series. Thomas graduated from Penn State University and has worked as a writer and editor in practically every area of the a...more
More about Patricia Thomas...
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