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The Saggy Baggy Elephant
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The Saggy Baggy Elephant

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  12,380 ratings  ·  113 reviews
After a parrot makes fun of Sooki’s big ears, long nose, and wrinkled skin, the “saggy baggy” elephant isn’t too sure of himself. But once he meets some beautiful creatures who look just like him, Sooki celebrates with a joyful “one-two-three-kick.” For over 50 years, parents and children have treasured this tale, with gorgeous art by Gustaf Tenggren, the illustrator of Th...more
Hardcover, 24 pages
Published September 21st 1999 by Golden Books (first published 1947)
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Charlotte's Web by E.B. WhiteThe Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson BurnettThe Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. LewisAnne of Green Gables by L.M. MontgomeryLittle Women by Louisa May Alcott
Favorite books from my childhood
239th out of 3,083 books — 5,853 voters
African Safari with Ted and Raymond by Rhonda PattonThe Story of Babar by Jean de BrunhoffAn Elephant Is On My House by Othen Donald Dale CummingsHorton Hears a Who! by Dr. SeussElmer by David McKee
Best Childrens Book About Elephants
6th out of 65 books — 92 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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John Yelverton
Not my favorite of the Little Golden Books collection.
Swankivy
Illustrations were lovely, as usual, and as a kind of odd child I was pretty familiar with the primary subject: getting bullied and not fitting in. The elephant in the story gets harassed by a parrot who says he looks like his skin doesn't fit, unlike all the other animals he was partying with. So, predictably, he's hurt and tries to find (possibly painful and dangerous) ways to be like everyone else, until he joins up with other elephants whose skin is as baggy as his and he realizes he's fine...more
Julie Decker
In this story about self-acceptance, the young elephant gets bullied for looking different from the other animals; he alone has skin that doesn't seem to fit. He tries several dangerous processes to make his skin look tighter, but then he's comforted when he returns to the other elephants and realizes that if their skin is all loose too, he must be made that way, and it's all okay.

What bothers me about that moral is that the protagonist's self-acceptance was contingent entirely upon finding othe...more
Kathryn
Mar 22, 2012 Kathryn rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Kathryn by: Susan Branch
Simply adorable. As the little elephant did not know he was an elephant I loved it when he said "I'd better hide in a dark place where my bags and sags and creases and wrinkles won't show".
Somerandom
Awh! I used to read this religiously when I was little!
The story is essentially the Ugly Duckling with an Elephant. Only the Elephant doesn't have to grow up to find his place.

Whilst Sooki is dancing an evil parrot mocks his appearance causing Sooki to be sad (damn you Evil Parrot!)
Sooki then asks all the animals he can find just what he is and how his skin can be tightened to fit him properly.
When a hungry lion responds that he could eat him Sooki yells for help and a herd of Elephants comes to...more
Don Gubler
Another of the handful of Little Golden Books that are priceless. About being comfortable in your own skin.
Anna Johnson
Sooki the baby elephant loved to dance until one day he met a parrot. The parrot told him that none of his features fit his body and that his skin was saggy and baggy. The parrot laughed at the elephant's appearance.The baby elephant tried everything to make his skin fit. Everytime he tried something new, he ran into danger and was forced to run away. Finally,he gave up and ran innto a cave to hide. he heard a lion coming up the path saying, "I am so hungry, I could eat a elephant. Sooki let out...more
Alisha
Jun 22, 2010 Alisha added it
Shelves: eng-353
The Saggy Baggy Elephant, written by K. and B. Jackson, follows Sooki, the elephant on his journey to find himself. After a parrot tells him he doesn’t look right with all his saggy skin, big ears and big nose. Sooki goes off to discover what he is. He asks all the animals he comes across if they know what he is, or how he could get his skin to be tighter, but none of their ideas work. When he finally asks a hungry lion, the lion responds, he isn’t sure, but he is hungry enough to eat him. Sooki...more
Joy
I remember this book as a small child so I had to pick up a copy.

Sooki is an elephant alone in the jungle and is ashamed to have saggy babby skin. Sooki meets any animals who try to attack the poor elephant until the elephant meets a herd of elephants and fits in.
Cheryl
Too bad there are always mean people like the parrot. Sooki was doing just fine with the "one-two-three-kick" until he met that bad bird. Still, it was nice that the little elephant found his family & friends.
Karen
This is another Little Golden Book illustrated by Gustaf Tenggren -- he had quite a prolific career as a LGB illustrator -- so the artwork is extraordinary and extraordinarily good. I liked the tiger and elephant illustration that was used for the front cover, but the best illustration in the book has to be the line of dancing elephants. It is so incredibly sweet and quite funny.

The overall story is fine, even good, although I probably would have sat on the mouthy parrot a long time ago. I don't...more
Connie
So, we've got this guy dancing through the forest. One two three KICK. One two three KICK. He's saggy. He's baggy. Aaaaaand... he's an elephant! Not that he knows it. All he knows is that he's getting laughed at for being so saggy and baggy, so he's gonna try to shrink himself.

No, not by talking to the tiger - you'll just get eaten up. No, not by soaking in the river - you'll get eaten up by crocodiles. Maybe hiding is the answer? Nope, you'll get eaten up by lions. (Luckily, at this point there...more
Diana Pettis
I am always in the search for books on elephants because Xander likes them so much. This one was cute with a simple message of the importance of friendship.
Dee
Sep 09, 2014 Dee rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any child.
Recommended to Dee by: It was read to our Kindergarten class.
A great book about feeling good in your skin, and accepting your body the way it is, even if you feel different from those around you.
Kati
I believe this book, "Babar, and Disney's Dumbo were responsible for making me elephant-crazy when I was little. I love it still.
Kaethe
I don't recall what I thought of this when I was a child, but as an adult I'm not that fond of either the story or the art.
Isaac
The tale of the saggy baggy elephant was one of my favorites as a child. The poor little elephant Sooki is at first an innocent carefree creature of the forest, that is until confronted by a saucy parrot who makes him feel uncomfortable in his own skin, literally. Determined to become normal, Sooki sets out encountering sly and dangerous animals around every corner. Eventually however after meeting a whole heard of saggy baggy elephants, he comes to learn that being yourself is more than enough....more
Barbara Brien
This is a cute book about accepting yourself that I am sure I read when I was a child.
Dwaine Nethery
Read it as a child. A favourite one of mine back then
H.L. Stephens
Another favorite from the Golden Books collection.
Rachel
1-2-3 kick and a saucy parrot ... enough said.
Christina
This was one of my favorite books as a kid!
Ellen
Precious...my son's latest favorite
Ann Marie
one of my absolute favorite books as a child
Heather
Honestly I rated this a 3 because I liked it more than my children did. By the time by 2 boys were able to understand the moral/ meaning they were more in to superheroes and dinosaurs etc. My daughter liked and understood it but it wasn't one of her favorites(but as the last of three children and 17 grandchildren she had a ton of books to choose from). As a parent I give it 5 stars... But from my children's view....1.
Shanan
As a child I remember not liking this book all so much.... in particular I remember the picture with the elephant floating with his round belly sticking up. I have no clue why I didn't like this book. I just remember a negative feeling.

Now I read it with my children I think it's a lovely book teaching children to be happy with who they are. Maybe I was having such issues as a child, who knows.
Josiah
I would give this book one and a half stars.
The lesson is good for readers that are beginning to appreciate the content of books that are read to them, and the story is humorous and quite memorable, especially considering its brevity.
Additionally, the understated illustrations by Gustav Tenggren are a nice touch. The drawing of the crocodile in the water is phenomenal!!!
Rebecca Snodgrass
The lesson in this book is one every person should learn. Love yourself no matter what you look like. There are other people just like you, and you should never get down on yourself no matter what. The way the elephant found the herd was just too cute! He almost got eaten a few times but overcame so much in such a short time. Now he can be happy with himself.
Robert
This is a cute story of an elephant who doesn't know he's an elephant. He dances in the jungle, but leaves destruction behind. A parrot scolds him so the elephant sets out to try to fit in since he has saggy skin. He eventually finds his family when he cries for help from being eaten by a lion. It is then he finds out he is an elephant.
Amy Burch
This little elephant has been dancing around the jungle and is just being itself until a parrot tells the elephant it has never seen a thing such as it. Then the elephant is self concious and tries to justify that it is not ugly and weird. This book teaches you that it is ok to be different from everyone else and that you should just embrace it.
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