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A Baby Elephant in the Wild

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  184 ratings  ·  41 reviews
Last summer, the Sibert Honor–winning duo Caitlin O'Connell and Timothy Rodwell witnessed the birth—and growth—of a baby elephant. In this intimate account for preschool through elementary readers, find answers to questions such as: What do newborn elephants look like? How big are they? What threatens them in the wild? Do they bully each other? Are they stalked by lions? W ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published March 18th 2014 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published March 1st 2014)
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4.13  · 
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 ·  184 ratings  ·  41 reviews

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Oct 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rll-538
A Baby Elephant in the Wild
On Booklist Review and The Junior Library Guild Selection
Author: Caitlin O’Connell
Photographs by: Caitlin O’Connell & Timothy Rodwell
Publisher: HMH Books – March 18, 2014

The Junior Library Guild Selection, A Baby Elephant in the Wild, takes you into the desert of Namibia for a first-hand look into the life of newborn Liza and her family. Caitlin O’Connell’s poignant account informs the reader of Liza’s first steps, and provides a personal investigation o
Deb Jones
Mar 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Before visiting elephants at a zoo, A Baby Elephant in the Wild, should be a must read for teachers. Elementary students will fall in love with Liza, a baby elephant born in the desert of Namibia. Caitlin O'Connell, author and photographer, captures the relationship of Liza with her mother and extended family of elephants. You will witness how Liza spends her days playing, eating and bathing in the hot, dry desert. O’Connell also shares how Liza’s mother cares for her baby the enemies of these l ...more
Caryn Caldwell
May 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book describes the early life of Liza, a baby elephant born in the scrub desert of Namibia. Through photographs and descriptions of her life, readers lean about such things as how elephants protect their babies, how they eat and drink, how they keep themselves cool, and how they are threatened by humans. Includes a "Did You Know?" section at the back with further information.

Although a more straightforward, traditional nonfiction approach may provide more information for reports or those wh
Jul 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A great nonfiction choice for students in grades 2 and 3. The photographs are excellent and the text is informative and interesting. This is a great introduction to narrative nonfiction for younger elementary students. This book may not work perfectly for report writing, but its attractive photographs and high interest content ensure that fans of nonfiction animal books will love this book.

My only tiny complaint is WHY THE PINK SPINE. This book really is for everyone and I know that that pink st
May 07, 2014 rated it liked it
The pictures were fantastic but the text seemed to switch tones and move in and out of focus at times.
Justin Dolezal
Jun 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A baby elephant is about how a little baby elephant is brought into the world and how quickly they can adapt to their new surroundings and how quickly they can pick up on new skills. A lot of the things they can do is compared to the way humans pick up on similar things. Very insightful and eye opening book!
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Narrative non-fiction aimed at an early elementary audience.
Pro: beautiful photography of a real baby elephant in the wild. Relatively simple text.
Con: text is too difficult for younger students who will be attracted by the photography. While including a map, it lacks a glossary for some of the more challenging vocabulary. Use as a supplemental choice or as a read-aloud.
Robert Gowdy
Dec 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: educators teaching about animals
An adorable and informative story. A collection of collage photos that encapsulate the beginning of the baby elephant's life. The book touches on larger topics such as animal endangerment, animal poaching, and the life cycle of elephants. I would recommend using for animal projects, or students interested in animals or collages.
Molly Maloney
Apr 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Title: A Baby Elephant in the Wild
Author: Caitlin O’Connell
Illustrator: Timothy Rodwell
Genre: Nonfiction photographic essay
Theme(s): Elephants
Opening line/sentence: “This is the scrub desert of Namibia (nah-MIH-bee-uhh).”
Brief Book Summary: This book describes to readers everything they want to know about elephants. Readers will learn what they look like, how big they are, what they do in the wild, their predators, what happens if they don’t get food or water, and if they are at risk of exti
Hayley DeRoche
Readable nonfiction with charming photos and facts.
Kristin Crockett
Title: A Baby Elephant in the Wild
Author: Caitlin O’ Connell
Illustrator: Caitlin O’ Connell and Timothy Rodwell
Genre: Photographic Essay
Theme(s): Elephants, Photographs
Opening line/sentence:
This is the scrub desert of Namibia (nah-MIH-bee-uh).
Brief Book Summary:
This book is about a newborn baby elephant, named Liza. Connell uses pictures with minimal amounts of text to take us through the journey of Liza in the wild. We learn about what baby elephant’s look like, how big they are, how they pro
Hannah Hayes
Jun 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: nature
This story follows how many animals begin life. This would be a fun thing to talk about in class.
May 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kid-lit
A Baby Elephant in the Wild
Caitlin O'Connell

(Nonfiction #5 NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Books for 2015)

A Baby Elephant In The Wild is a story about a baby elephant named Eliza. The journey of following Eliza takes place in the scrub desert of Namibia. It is home to the African elephant and many other animals. In this book the reader is able to follow the journey of Eliza and can learn about the different things baby elephants go through in their first years of life. Caitlin O'Connell the photo
Aug 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: juvenile-nf
Adorable! Both the baby elephants and the book! I’ve seen many pictures of baby elephants, but baby Liza in this book looks SO small!
The clear, close-up photos show every nook and cranny of their rough, textured skin, and the title page photo makes it look like Liza is smiling at the reader. Some photos cover a full two-page spread; other have mounting corners on them as if this were a scrapbook. Some pages have two or three photos. On pages where the text and photos do not crowd the page, a sma
Aug 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
So well written. Buy as a gift for a primary grade child or to use in the k-2 classroom. The author's language is concise and clear--making it easy to read aloud to preK-1st grade students or to recommend to a savvy primary grade reader. The author opens a window for the reader onto the life of a young elephant, Liza. Not just your everyday facts either. The baby elephant has to practice getting water from her trunk to her mouth as she "learns to control 40,000 muscles in her extended nose"!

Alyssa Becker
A Baby Elephant in the Wild; written by: Caitlin O'Connell, photographs by: Caitlin O'Connell & Timothy Rodwell; Copyright 2014, 38 pg.
*Nonfiction #5: NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Books for 2015*

This book is not only factual, but it is a true story. baby elephant Liza is followed by the author and photographer, who continued to photograph and observe Liza as she grew up. The facts presented in this book about elephants are interesting, relative, and not overwhelming. This makes it a great
Scientist Caitlin O'Connell and her co-worker Timothy Rodwell's years of study have paid off with a wonderful collection of photographs of elephants in their natural habitat. Through crisp, large photos, this book follows the first couple of years in the life of a baby elephant, Liza, born in the wild of Namibia. A lot of information is shared in a natural, story-like manner here, and children interested in elephants will enjoy it.

A Did You Know? section in the back gives additional informatio
Jul 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Alice, Librariansteph, Marti, Elissa, Nadine
Shelves: k-3-non-fiction
This is a fascinating account of young Liza the baby African Elephant from a scrub desert in Namibia. Young readers will learn how a mother elephant rears her young baby, the bond between a mother and her daughter is so strong that they remain together for their entire lives. The "Did you know?" ending gives important facts and makes this very attractive title truly informative for older readers as well.
Mar 10, 2015 rated it really liked it

4.4 stars

It’s a photobiography of one particular baby elephant named Liza who lives in Namibia. Female elephants remain with their mothers for their entire lives. Herds of elephants consist of mother and daughters and grandmothers and aunts and female cousins because the females stay together for the duration of their lives.
Oct 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Nonfiction books written by experts in the field are always so much better than series nonfiction. This is very apparent in this book. With engaging photographs and "insider information" only an expert would know this is a great introduction to life as an elephant. I wish there had been more back matter, but I do appreciate the pronunciation hint at the beginning.
Feb 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Non-fiction Book 2
Paired with fiction book Elephant Hide and Seek
I paired these books together because after reading Elephant Hide and Seek you could read more in depth about baby elephants growing up.
Oct 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids-non-fiction
This is a fun way to learn about elephants through a story and gorgeous pictures that will keep kids interested. My girls (3 and 5) enjoy nonfiction books to begin with, but it is extra fun to have interesting facts built into a captivating story.
Aug 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Gr 1-3
Shelves: childrens
A true early non-fiction book! Hooray! The photographs are beautiful, and really give the reader a feel for how elephants live in the wild. Simple, but not over-simple. Will be a favorite in my library.
Oct 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, animals
Wonderful photographs, excellent simple text. Good for young readers, although there are some hard words--and no glossary at the end! There is an author's note, and a double page spread with further facts. Useful for nature lessons--maybe second grade?
Ann Williams
This will make a great non fiction addition to the text set for The One and Only Ivan. It will help readers understand Ruby and Stella and why they had the relationship that they did based on facts. I loved the photos, the "Did you know,"page and the author's note.
Jillian Heise
A fabulous and fascinating non-fiction book about the life of a baby elephant. In true narrative style, the story of Liza is told with an interweaving of facts about African elephants and their family groups. Stunning photographs show elephants in their natural habitat.
Maggi Rohde
Jun 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, animals
A perfect example of a nonfiction read-aloud for K-2. It's just the right length, well-written, authentic and interesting. The photos are spectacular, and O'Connell's experience watching the elephants in the wild make it a great tie-in to the global community.
Mar 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
THE ELEPHANT SCIENTIST is one of my favorites in the Scientists in the Field series. This book explores the birth and growth they witnessed of a baby elephant. Great for younger students. More interesting elephant facts and great photographs in the wild.
Mar 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Amazing photographs and nice amount of text.
Mar 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Beautiful photographs. I had no idea baby elephants were that cute.
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Dr. Caitlin O'Connell is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery at Stanford University School of Medicine and a world renowned expert on elephants and vibrotactile sensitivity. She is the author of the internationally acclaimed nonfiction science memoir, The Elephant's Secret Sense (2007, Free Press), which highlights a novel form of elephant communicatio ...more