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3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  491 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
Oliver has always wanted to be a dancing elephant, but what will he do when he discovers the circus already has enough elephants? Beginning readers will laugh out loud as they follow Oliver's adventures and find out how this elephant of unique charm and talent finally achieves his dream. Now available in full color!
Hardcover, 64 pages
Published April 5th 2000 by HarperCollins (first published 1960)
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(showing 1-30 of 814)
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Mar 15, 2011 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Children
Shelves: childrens
I bought this book based on its cover, as it looked like something I had read in my childhood. Plus it was about an elephant and I love elephants.

Elizabeth loved the story, but then again she isn't too picky.

The story is about Oliver the elephant who wants to be part of the circus. The circus man turns Oliver away because he only wanted 10 elephants, not 11. Oliver then wanders about the city, willing to be anything anyone wanted him to be (Thank heavens he wasn't a teenaged girl or this would h
Alyssa Scherr
Oct 19, 2014 Alyssa Scherr rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 15-picture-books
Oliver, the talking elephant, dreamed he would always be in the circus but when that day arrives the circus is already full. Oliver, now stranded, begins his adventure to find a new purpose in life. He tries the zoo but they are full too. Oliver then finds himself asking people if they want a pet but this also doesn't work out. Finally Oliver decides to stop his search and just play with children at the playground when he discovers his real talent, dancing. After the circus conductor sees the cr ...more
Joseph Lapierre
Aug 24, 2011 Joseph Lapierre rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oliver was just 1 of 11 elephants that were coming to join a circus. The circus owner only needed 10 and told oliver he was no longer needed and left him to defend for himself. Oliver tried the zoo to see if they needed an elephant, they said no. He then tried being a dog and horse both did not work. He then tried to become a piece of playground equipment but realized that it was not what he wanted. He met a few kids who had been talking about what they wanted to be when they grew up. one said a ...more
Aug 30, 2008 george rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oliver and his ten elephant friends have just traveled on a boat to work in the circus. But when they arrive, the circus man says that he only ordered ten elephants and cannot take any more. So Oliver is left to wander on his own, looking for a place to belong. He tries the zoo, but they are full. He attempts to become someone's pet, but that doesn't work out well either. He meets up with some school children and as they play they talk about what they want to be when they grow up. All poor Olive ...more
Jun 05, 2014 Ashley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oliver the Elephant must search for a place to live and an occupation after he is turned away from the circus. Very cute illustrations and a good book to use when asking questions about the story from the pictures to engage a young reader!
May 11, 2015 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really can't stand concrete zoos or performing elephants in a circus, but, if I can get past that, I like the book.

Oliver the elephant is completely charming and resilient. And he, and everyone else, are adorably drawn.
May 06, 2012 Kris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
Personally, I would have given this book 3 stars. My daughter, on the other hand could never get enough of this book! She wanted me to read it several times a day, EVERY DAY! This book is not a short book, even though it's an easy reader. This was the first book my daughter completely memorized and proclaimed "I CAN READ" at 3. While I knew she wasn't "reading" it was amazing that out of ALL of her books, this was the one she memorized first!! At 8 years old she still loves this book. She reads ...more
This is a strange little book with a very disjointed plot. I read it just the other day but all I really remember is thinking that it didn't really make that much sense.
Aug 23, 2010 jacky rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: primary school
Shelves: early-reader
My mother picked this up because she though it was on our buy list for Natalie (but it was Olivia on the list). We left it here and wound up using it as a bed time read. It was cuter than I expected, especially with the illustrations. I knew right away that it was the same author as Danny the Dinosaur. My sister and I particularly liked the illustration of Oliver being walked with a lesh around his trunk. The story wasn't that exciting and the writing was simple. It was clear that this was meant ...more
Apr 21, 2015 Lauren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-books
Daughter asked for this to be read several bedtimes in a row - really loves elephants
Dec 08, 2010 Luann rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-book, 2010
I liked this one slightly more than Sammy the Seal, but not as much as Danny and the Dinosaur. Although to be fair, I need to reread Danny and the Dinosaur and see how I feel about it as an adult. The illustrations are fun and make me want to sit down and draw my own elephant!
Claudia Naranjo
Oliver, a sweet elephant, arrives from overseas and he is ready to work in the circus, but the circus owner says he already has enough elephants. Oliver is now looking for a place where he can stay. He tries going to the zoo, but they already have an elephant. Later he tries to be a pet, but everybody has one already. What Oliver wants the most is to work in the circus, so he starts dancing. The circus owner is passing by and when he sees the elephant dancing he is pleased, and offers Oliver a p ...more
Elizabeth S
Aug 21, 2011 Elizabeth S rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book just as fun as Syd Hoff's more famous Danny and the Dinosaur. Oliver the elephant isn't needed at the circus, so he has to find something else to do. Watching an elephant try out various other forms of employment is rather fun. Of course he has a blast playing with the kids (you can see that from the cover), and the kids help him find the perfect place to fit in.
Michael Fitzgerald
Oct 02, 2016 Michael Fitzgerald rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: easy-readers
Simple and effective.
The end of year kindergartner rated this 3 1/2 stars.

Guided reading level i
Rosa Cline
Jan 24, 2016 Rosa Cline rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids
This is about an elephant named Oliver. He comes to join a circus but when they count all the elephants they only needed 10 not 11 so they send Oliver away. He tries to find where he belongs and at the end as he plays with children the circus man sees him and wants him to come back to the circus. That's his dream to join and so his dream comes true.
Jun 05, 2016 TJ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While shopping for Christmas gifts for the kids in my life I read this book to make sure it was going to be suitable. Very cute story about an elephant trying to figure out where he belongs and following his dreams.
Jul 04, 2013 Dannie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids-books
It was cute, I even chuckled out loud a few times. Might be a bit beyond my 3yo, it didn't keep his attention till the end. 4yo loved it, though.
Dec 12, 2012 Jamie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good level 1 book. About an elephant who wants to dance. Goes through different things before ending up where it belongs. Cute story.
Inspired Kathy
Feb 13, 2009 Inspired Kathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a cute book to read. The cirucs doesn't want Oliver so he's all alone and trying to find a place he fits in.
Lillie Rayburn
Favorite part: When the circus man took the elephant to the circus (the last page).
Same sort of story as Julius . . . wild animal longs for the circus.
I'm pretty sure I read this as a kid. Read again on July 20, 2013.
May 17, 2012 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens-books
Cherry Tree read. Kindness/compassion/finding your place.
Eh, I thought it was kinda lame.
Kelly Alvey
Jul 19, 2013 Kelly Alvey added it
Shelves: oliver
I think it has all the humor in it.
May 09, 2011 Lulu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just plain adorable.
Sep 22, 2011 A rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ash marked it as to-read
Oct 22, 2016
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Whether you’re seven or seventy, the chances are you’ve probably come in contact with one of his many books (150 plus), or cartoons that have appeared in over 200 magazines in the course of his lifetime, including Laugh it Off which was syndicated for 20 years. His comic strip Tuffy, about a little girl who did funny things, was declared essential for national morale during WWII by William Randolp ...more
More about Syd Hoff...

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