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How to Catch An Elephant
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How to Catch An Elephant

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  104 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Here's the secret. Follow your uncle's advice and take to the jungle "3 cakes, 2 raisins, 1 telescope, and a pair of tweezers." Find a tree and wait for an elephant. If the elephant is angry, obstreperous, and hungry...hold on, be brave--things are not always what they seem. ...more
Paperback, 40 pages
Published October 3rd 2001 by DK Children (first published 1999)
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Average rating 3.68  · 
Rating details
 ·  104 ratings  ·  21 reviews

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Aug 27, 2018 rated it liked it
I don't even know what just happened to me. ...more
Susan Lubner
Feb 11, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
I have mixed feelings about this story. It has a clever folktale quality, but at the expense of the elephant being teased. The ending bothered me too since the story doesn't end well for the elephant. ...more
Mar 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pbf-mammals
Very silly!
Jul 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
Overview: “Three cakes, 2 raisins, 1 telescope, and a pair of tweezers. That’s what you need to catch an elephant.” This is an amazing story of how a little girl catches an elephant with the items mentioned above!

Mommy Bookworm’s Thoughts: This book is full of bright, vibrant illustrations, and is quite fun to read – especially if you act out the elephant’s tantrums! Once again, there is a conflict online about what age group it’s appropriate for. I believe that younger children (3-5) would enjo
Cassandra Gelvin
Dec 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Fun with optics! Or something!

This is just weird. I think I had heard this story before, maybe in a shorter version like a joke. Basically, it says that in order to catch an elephant, you need cakes, raisins, a telescope, and a pair of tweezers. Because apparently, elephants love raisins but hate cake. Like the existence of cake just makes them angry. This is the weirdest, most surreal book. After some antics with cake and raisins, you're supposed to look through the telescope backwards so the e
Jul 17, 2009 rated it liked it
So, so cute! My five-year-old picked this book out at the library and read it to herself at home. Every few pages, she would stop and giggle. At the end of the book, she started laughing with such delight that I had to stop cooking dinner and come and find out what was going on (she had guessed what the tweezers were for). I loved that she had such a great experience discovering a book for herself. She read this book to my friend and to both her grandmothers over the phone with such expression.. ...more
Kathy Ellen Davis
Jan 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
This book is so cute!
The language is awesome, playful, and I laughed out loud when I found out how the elephant ended up being caught! Children will love the repetition, and, I'm sure, saying,
"Elephants are CRAZY about raisins!"

Haiku Review:
First, you'll need raisins.
They are crazy about them,
but they don't like cake!
Miss Sarah
Jul 25, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: elephants
This book was a little whimsical for my taste but I could see my preschoolers doing the movements. A little girl sets out on an adventure to catch an elephant using rains, a telescope, and cake. Will she succeed?
Jul 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book! Stomp! Stomp! Stomp! Stamp! Stamp! Stamp! I mean really, elephants love raisins and they hate cake! Step by step instructions on how to catch an elephant are just down right funny, if not a little dangerous.
The Brothers
Jan 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: elephants, cakes
A rather cute and kooky story of a very unorthodox way to catch an elephant using raisins and cake. Asher (5 y.o.) ended up being able to read this story outloud to Dex (2 y.o.). They both enjoyed it a lot.

Simple, but fun illustrations.
Bethany Dinger
May 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I teach preschoolers and we LOVELOVELOVE this book. It's been on my shelf for 5 years and its always a favorite. Children who've left
the program come back to visit and always ask to read the elephant book!
Oct 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Great book and it has wonderful body movements to have the kids do with you but the end result on how to catch an elephant might get lost on little ones
Provides instructions for using such necessary tools as cakes, raisins, tweezers, and a telescope to catch an elephant.
Jan 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
She dedicates this book "To my fsther...who told me this story." After you read it, you can only imagine what a fun, sweet daddy he must have been. Great example of using one's imagination to solve a problem in the funnest of ways! ...more
Apr 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
The kids really liked this funny "how-to" book :-) ...more
Nov 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Now I want to try to catch an elephant using three cakes, two raisins and a telescope.
Aug 22, 2007 rated it it was ok
This book was hard for Flora to understand, understandably... but Momma was a bit lost, too. Not one of Schwartz's best, though we think she's usually quite wonderful. ...more
Aug 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A unique story with a clever, unexpected ending. My little boy loved it, too.
Jun 03, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: young children
Shelves: picture-books
Cute, silly story. Great use of verbs describing the elephant's actions. ...more
Paige Spicer
Sep 17, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: edrd-314
I really didn't enjoy this story at all. It didn't make sense and the pictures were not appealing. ...more
Aug 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I loved this story!
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May 12, 2011
rated it it was amazing
Jul 30, 2017
rated it did not like it
Jan 12, 2018
Emily Kazmierski
rated it really liked it
Jan 06, 2018
rated it really liked it
Feb 19, 2015
rated it it was ok
Sep 30, 2014
rated it liked it
Apr 07, 2013
rated it did not like it
Aug 23, 2007
Becky Browne
rated it really liked it
Feb 24, 2016
rated it really liked it
Aug 15, 2013
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Amy Schwartz is the author and illustrator of many picture books for children, including Begin at the Beginning; Things I Learned in Second Grade; Bea and Mr. Jones, a Reading Rainbow feature; What James Likes Best, recipient of the 2004 Charlotte Zolotow Award; and a glorious day. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband Leonard S. Marcus, and their son, Jacob.

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