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But No Elephants

4.46  ·  Rating details ·  1,662 ratings  ·  171 reviews
Grandma Tildy finally agrees to take an unwanted elephant into her home, but soon regrets her decision.
Hardcover, 44 pages
Published 1979 by Parents Magazine Press
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Average rating 4.46  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,662 ratings  ·  171 reviews

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Jul 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing
My parents received this book through a mailing subscription list (it was like Netflix but with kids' books, back in the 1980s), and it became an all-time favorite book in our house. My older sister loved it, I loved it, my younger brother loved it.

My dad says he still remembers how vigorously we all three would shake our heads at the repeated line of the story, "But no elephants!" He said he can't wait to read it to the future grandkids. Good thing we kept it!
Dec 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
I'm glad I kept this on my list until I found a new library to join. It's one of those magically nostalgic classics, a 'sleeper' or 'cult' favorite, if you will. Kids, including child me, get a true kick, and feel the wonder of being able to empathize with the old lady, the pet salesman, and the critters too. There are also some neat details in the pictures; for example I love the smaller critters in bed, and the overalls the grandma changes into to cut wood. If you actually have kids or grandki ...more
Maggie Stiefvater
I know this isn't a new book, but it is still hands-down my three-year-old's favorite bedtime story. He will listen to this book back to back night after night. In between the old woman who takes on every animal but an elephant, the pet salesman who tries to foist the elephant upon her, and the various ways the animals help her, there's lots of opportunities for funny voices and sound effects. Definitely a keeper.

***wondering why all my reviews are five stars? Because I'm only reviewing my favor
J. Boo
Nov 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-to-kids
Pleasant little kids book about an elderly lady who is an itinerant pet salesman's best customer, willing to buy all the animals he trots out for her, BUT NO ELEPHANTS. Not a spoiler to guess with what she eventually winds up. The kids have been requesting it multiple times, so good all around.

Me: 3/5
DS#1 (age 5) & DD (age 3): 4/5
Oct 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Kristie by: ally ¯\(ツ)/¯
Shelves: childrens
Cute little children's story about how everyone is special and helpful in their own way. ...more
Apr 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
"Grandma Tildy lived all alone. She worked hard every day. She had no time to play."

Then the pet man comes and eventually filters off all his pets to her, including the elephant she adamantly refuses. The elephant breaks the house and eats all the food. What will Grandma Tildy and her pets do? The elephant finds a solution.

This was a childhood favorite of mine and now my son loves it as well. Not a word is out of place, and the illustrations are charming, with just the right amount of detail.
So cute & silly, and a winner for my animal loving little boy.
Oct 28, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: picture-books
My mother brought this uninvited to my house in a pile of my weird old books, and I was forced to relive how sad I found this book as a kid. A little old lady adopts all the unwanted animals from a man one by one, leaving only the elephant who she just won't accept. He sits out in the snow, cold and unfed, until the other animals finally guilt her into letting him into the house. Just frickin traumatic. Hiding it from my toddler. ...more
Sherry Scheline
Oct 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I had a young lady who told me this was a great book. She then said you should read it with me Miss Sherry. I will NEVER turn down a chance to read with a child and so I enjoyed this book with her.

This book is completely under rated and is absolutely delightful. I absolutely loved it! Thanks Trinity for reading with me.
Kellee Moye
Read on IG by Mac Barnett 4/30/20
Mar 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: grand-girls
My Grand Girls Favorite
Steff Fox
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
| Review on Reader Fox Blog |

I have mixed feelings about Jerry Smith's But No Elephants. It's one of those books from my childhood that I recall my sister really enjoying and thus was read a lot to us when we were young. But it's an odd story and I think I recognized that, even then. Coming back to it now, after more than twenty years, I have to admit that I understand both Grandma Tildy's stance and feel for the elephant. In a way, the person in this whole story I dislike the most is the p
Kendra Loch
Feb 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-choice
But No Elephants has been my favorite children's book from the day that I got it-about 18 years ago!

One day, a salesman came to her house selling pets and asked her if she would like to buy a canary bird. Grandma says her famous lines, "Very well. But no elephants!" The canary sang for Grandma Tildy and gave her company.

The next few days the pet man came again and again and Grandma continued to buy pets with her phrase "Very well. But no elephants!" But soon an elephant was all that was left a
May 30, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a humorous story about a little old lady who ends up with a variety of pets. All of the animals have a particular talent that helps the household, but the elephant is so big - what can he do? It's a fun tale and our girls really liked the ending.

But the question I pose is she an animal hoarder? She fits the profile: single, lonely older woman. I just finished the book Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things and I know it will change the way I look at things for a long time!
Feb 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
I used to love this book as a child. This litle old lady buys just about every type of animal from a salesman. Every time she refuses to buy the elephant though. Eventually the salesman just leaves the elephant on her front door. It rains and snows and finally she lets him come in. He turns out to be a real help to her...and well its just a charming book :)
M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews
I get the message that this book is trying to convey, and that is why I am giving it 3 stars, but looking back as an adult, I have a more critical view of it and think the author could have presented the idea better.
Jun 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
this was one of my favorite books when I was a kid!
Jan 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This has been my favorite book scince I was really little I give it 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,00,000,000 stars out of 5 READ IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Aug 31, 2015 rated it liked it
read this book to my son when he was little. he liked the book
Jan 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorites as a child.
Carrie Stephens
Jan 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
One of my ALL time favorite childhood books.
Ashley Arrington
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
But No Elephants is a story about Grandma Tildy who lived alone in a little house. One day, a man came to her house and he was selling pets. He offered her a canary bird and Grandma Tildy said yes but she did not want an elephant. Over the next few days, the man kept coming back and offering her animals, until there was only an elephant left. She refused the elephant, still, so it stayed outside during the winter in the snow. Grandma Tildy and the other animals felt bad for the cold elephant, so ...more
May 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-books
The five year old daughter enjoyed this thoroughly. I can see the appeal—it’s repetitive and silly with a neat and tidy ending. It’s all about the ways that we can help each other. The message is that life is better when we work together, and it’s delivered in a way that’s subtle enough to be fun for the intended audience. So far, so good. Here are my gripes: It reminds me of a mediocre comic strip from the Sunday funny papers, only longer. The spread where she has a fit about refusing the eleph ...more
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
There was a school event where I had to choose some kids books to share, and this is one that was at the top of my list.

Grandma Tildy happily lives alone, but is a sucker for the pet salesman that comes along to her home. She purchases several animals who quickly become helpers and friends. But as the season is ending, the salesman is desperate to be rid of his final creature...and elephant. In fact, even though he doesn't make the sale, he abandons the elephant outside of Grandma Tildy's home.
This was one of my favorite childhood books. I've read it so many times, but never logged it before! The message of helpfulness, compassion, and cooperation rings as true today as it did when it was first published.

Today I shared it with a first grade class during their Zoom session, which is an interesting way to share a book to say the least! I was glad to be able to see the class one more time, since my regular monthly visits with them were canceled for the last couple of months. They enjoyed
Tara McKenzie
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-lit
Cute little kids book about an old lady, Grandma Tildy who is the pet salesman's number one customer, willing to buy all the animals he brings to her, but her one request, NO ELEPHANTS.

This book is a great book and is an old time classic.

This book would be best used in a classroom for smaller, younger children before naptime, or for those in a classroom when learning about different animals.
Tayler K
Dec 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
I remember this book from my childhood.

There's a newer book out called "Strictly No Elephants" and whenever I come across it, I think of this one. My library doesn't own a copy (and I don't know whether mine is hiding in my parents' attic somewhere) but I finally requested one through a consortium partner.

These illustrations are so warm and cozy and cheery. I just love it.

I read it aloud to Chella and Sharon.
Melissa Namba
Oct 05, 2019 rated it liked it
A cute story about an old lady who gets duped into buying lots of pets. But she doesn't want the elephant. The elephant is abandoned outside her house by the salesman and she leaves it. Which is really sad. The elephant cries and all the animals inside can hear it. But when it snows, he saves the day and becomes part of the family. ...more
Jun 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book seemed like it was going to be straightforward, but took a surprising twist! Both children listened to it attentively. My 5-year-old almost cried when he thought the elephant was going to be left out in the snow. Fortunately, there was a happy ending!
Lara Somers
Dec 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great book. Love the story line. If you'd like to check out another children's book about an elephant here is one I wrote! Thanks!

The Elephant That Couldn't Sleep
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