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The Ant and the Elephant
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The Ant and the Elephant

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  543 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
The elephant is the kindest animal in the jungle, rescuing the giraffe, lion, and rhino, but who will return the favor when the elephant needs help?
Paperback, 48 pages
Published February 19th 1980 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 1972)
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(showing 1-30)
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May 13, 2017 rated it liked it
3* art
3* story

Bill Peet is a bit wordy for Squirt yet, but I'm hoping he grows into him, because there's so many titles I want to read to him. This is one of the shorter books, and has a great message about kindness.
John Yelverton
Jul 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is a sweet and precious children's book that's fun for all ages.
Apr 20, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-2015
The Ant and the Elephant is a children's story about graciousness and kindness.

This was a great one to read to my son who is sometimes reluctant to be helpful and can be resentful of his little brother, as toddlers will.
Brian Berrett
Jan 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
I ordered the book not realizing it was a children's book. It was referenced in a business book I read. I'm glad I bought it. Cute with a nice lesson.
Kest Schwartzman
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
I mean, by "kindest" we mean "most self-righteous" but he gets his comupance, in proper pictureb ook fashion
Lisa Quenon
May 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love reading Bill Peet books to children. I find them to be absolutely perfect for the 3-6 year old set!
“The Ant and the Elephant” is another classic children’s book from Bill Peet that details the power of friendship. In this tale, a small ant gets in trouble when he is trapped in the middle of the river. When he asks the turtle to help him, the turtle refuses to help until he gets into trouble and that leads to a chain of animals that also get in trouble when they refused to help one another. The Elephant is then the one who eventually saves all the animals from their fates. “The Ant and the Ele ...more
Nicole Fellows
Jun 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
This is yet another great book by Bill Peet. This story starts out with an ant who finds himself stuck in the middle of a river. When he asks the turtle for help, he refuses, leaving the ant behind. Then the turtle finds himself in a situation he can't get out of and the bird refuses to help him. It goes on like this throughout the story until the elephant comes along and helps all of the animals. Later, the elephant gets stuck and it is the ant, along with all of his friends that come to save ...more
Heather B.
It starts with an ant who needed some help to get back to dry land and tried to get a turtle to help him, but he refused too and soon the turtle was in need of help. As a domino effect each animal who refused to help out another animal, they got in trouble themselves and is need of some help. Until a friendly elephant came along and helped all the animals out. Some were grateful, but many of them were grumpy and did not even thank the elephant for his help. Then the elephant got into trouble and ...more
Nov 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I love Bill Peet! This book provided our class with a great discussion.

Why were those animals so grumpy?
Why weren't they more grateful for the help?
Should the elephant have helped them since they were being so cranky?
Could a bunch of ants really save an elephant?

We talked about how sometimes it's difficult to make a difference, but one person can. If it's a big job, if everyone bands together, amazing things can happen!
Aug 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Okay, I don't know any other way to put Bill Peet as an author on this site, but the kids and I are absolutely loving his books. The stories always have good morals, and the illustrations are fun and silly. We like them all - too many to list, but we always walk out of the library now with a whole bag full of just Bill Peet books - check them out if you have younger kids (or just if you like cute kid books).
Jan 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-picture-books
An ant needs help, he's stranded on a branch in the water, a turtle refuses to help him and then he flips over, a bird refuses to help, but then loses her egg, a giraffe refuses to help but gets tangled up in some vines, a lion refuses to help but gets his tail caught under a boulder, a rhino refuses to help but his horn gets stuck in a trunk, an elephant helps everybody, and then when he falls down in a ravine, who can help him?
Apr 25, 2014 rated it liked it
I read this to a mixed age group; too long for the three and four year olds, I would recommend it for five and six year olds. I enjoyed doing funny voices to the different animals. Some of things I didn't like were the phrases some of the animals to express their frustration. I would be comfortable the small children repeating them. For a picture book it was a bit long, some the children started to get restless before the end.
First Bill Peet book, an author recommended by David Smith.

I had fun doing different voices for the various animals. I initially thought that each animal would have to go back and help the animal that it originally had failed to help. I think I would have liked that version better.

Kate wanted to rate this 5 stars.
Could teach a lesson on being a good friend and helping out those who need it because you never know when you will be the one needing help. It also teaches that you should not dismiss someone because they are small or weak..and that by working together anyone can accomplish what they want. A long book though! The kids started to get a little restless so I had to shorten it some.
May 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A great Bill Peet story, that tells about the virtues of kindness, and how one little act can have ramifications that come back around to you.
Starting with the ant, all of the animals in the jungle end up in trouble, and everyone refuses to help each other. The elephant agrees to help everyone, but who will come to his rescue when he needs help?
Text to text: The Lion and the Mouse

Virtue: Gratefulness

Moral: You reap what you sow, the Golden Rule, pride comes before a fall, Little guys can do big things

Chapel theme: Love is kind, Love is not proud, Love believes all things
The Brothers
Jan 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
A sweet Bill Peet story about helping one another. I really like how when the animals refused to help out another animal in trouble because of some reason, they suffered the reason they feared in the first place (e.g. the giraffe didn't want to be laughed at).

Very nice illustrations.
rated it it was amazing
Apr 20, 2010
Elizabeth A
Apr 02, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013, kids-ya
My 8 year old nephew, Jonah, is really into Bill Peet at the moment. The kid stocks up every day on more books to read. So love that. He was over for a play date and brought three for us to read. These short stories are quite fun, and I do love the illustrations.
Mark Baker
Feb 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012, picture-book
A fun morality tale about the importance of helping those in need and the dangers of pride.

Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.
Dec 31, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone with kids
I read this book often to my kids and never tire of it. It's simple message of giving unconditionally never grows old. Plus the text is flawless and the drawings simple and engaging. A must for every family's bookshelf.
Oct 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
PB 32: I remember this book from when I was a kid. Loved it then, and I love it now. This is a great book about helping others, because you never know when you will need help.
Oct 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
bill peet is a great author
Oct 21, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: character, age-2, animals
What you do comes back to you. Reminded me of the lion and the mouse fable.
Sep 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Cute story, showing how strong an ant can be (although exaggerated). Very long though. I had to cut it down when I read it to my class.
Mar 28, 2013 marked it as to-read
Mar 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-lit
This was my favorite. This one and the one about the hair.
Katie W
Apr 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Another good moral. Always take the time to help others because you never know when you'll need help yourself.
Sirpa Grierson
Mar 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
LOVE this children's book. Ya gotta love the ants!!! The last page is my favorite to read aloud to little listeners.
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Bill Peet was an American children's book illustrator and a story writer for Disney Studios. He joined Disney in 1937 and worked on The Jungle Book, Song of the South, Cinderella, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, The Sword in the Stone, Goliath II, Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, Dumbo, Pinocchio, Fantasia, The Three Caballeros, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and other stories.

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