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The Elephant and Bad Baby

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  1,224 ratings  ·  81 reviews
Whenever the bad baby wants something the big elephant gets it for him.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 26th 1986 by Coward-McCann, Inc. (first published 1969)
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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Apr 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those beautifully repetitive, rhythmic books that will have children finishing the sentence for you in no time, especially when the elephant goes rumpeta rumpeta rumpeta all down the road, perfect for the language beginner to learn the names of truly essential food items like cake, ice cream and biscuits, as well as the shops where the elephant takes a pie for himself and a pie for the bad baby .... there, you've got me doing it now too. And of course, even more essential than ...more
Zuma Ahmed
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Bad Baby is very bad today and the good elephant is good.This book is about a bad baby and he was very bad a good elephant is very good. ...more
Fiona Prunty
Sep 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“The Elephant and the Bad Baby” by Elfrida Vipoint and Raymond Briggs.
This is a fictional story about an elephant and a “bad” baby who wouldn’t say “please”. One day the elephant meets the bad baby and offers him a ride in to town. They go to several food shops and the elephant grabs the food that the baby wants. All the owners from the different shops are angry and they follow the bad baby and the elephant. Suddenly the elephant stops and the bad baby flies off and the elephant realises the
Tim Roast
Mar 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Elephant and the Bad Baby is one of my 3-year-old’s favourite books. It is an ideal bedtime story as it has a rhythm to it that can lull your child to sleep.

The elephant meets a bad baby so takes him for a ride. Along the way he asks if the bad baby would like buns, lollipops etc. from various shops they pass, and the bad baby always says yes. This leads to the shop owners such as the baker chasing after them in an ever increasing band. But the bad baby never once said please so gets his
Jan 06, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
Miss 3 and I like to explore different books and authors at the library, sometimes around particular topics or themes. We try to get different ones out every week or so; it's fun for both of us to have the variety and to look at a mix of new & favourite authors.

Lol, I can see how this could be a classic but I just can't like it. I know I'm overthinking it too much but I dislike calling any baby 'bad' and then it annoys me that they all turn on the baby and have a go at him despite the fact
Jun 13, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
I enjoyed it, but my kids were a little bored. They had a hard time staying engaged with this one, even though I pointed out things in the picture and emphasized certain favorite words like ice cream, it didn't seem to help. I loved the use of the old-fashioned words like grocer and sweet shop, it helps to expand my 5-yr-olds vocabulary. But overall, we probably won't be reading this one again.
Alexandra Hunter
The bad baby and the elephant go on an adventure taking things from shops but the baby never says please, so all the shop keepers follow him home. Repetition and rhythm, good for little ones language development.
Jonathan Ayres
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
So much nostalgia! The 'rumpeta, rumpeta, rumpeta' of the Elephant down the road is the noise that myself, along with many others I'm sure, now associate with all elephants, real or not. One of my favourite picture books!
Oct 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Cheeky babies
Recommended to Lance by: Baby Adam
"and they went rumpeta, rumpeta, rumpeta, all down the road ..."

This is a charming British tale of a gregarious elephant and a baby boy whose eyes are bigger than his stomach. The setting of a gentrified industrial seaside town is very relatable and quaint. The illustrations are gorgeously simple, the bad baby clad all in white and the sleek grey form of the elephant. I enjoyed the detailed signage and accessories in each of the illustrations, this should keep older toddlers engaged as they are
Sally Edsall
May 08, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s
I don't particularly like this book, although it does have some good features, like the repetion...the classic building up of a chain of people following the elephant. It encourages the child to start getting into the swing of things and reciting along. The language is rhythmic. But, if that is the sort of thing you want, check out Lynley Dodd and the Hairy Maclary series as a superior alternative. Her language is more poetic, too and employs brilliant alliteration.

My problem with this book is
Amy "the book-bat"
This is a very cute story about an elephant that meets a baby and gives him a ride through town. The town's people end up chasing after the elephant and the baby and the story repeats everyone in the chase as more people join in. It is good for young children and early readers because of the repetition. The artwork is fun as well.
An elephant and a baby go around stealing things. The baby doesn't say please so the elephant gets upset. Then the baby's mum makes everyone pancakes.
I'm not sure what the message is in this book. The baby gets all the blame but still gets rewarded.
Raymond Briggs is the only thing I enjoyed about this book.
Baby Adam
Sep 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Unforgettable "and he never once said please".

I do hope today's families are not submerged in trans-Atlantic cultural imperialism. Books like this didn't require a costume, multiple toys, DVD spinoffs, marketing.
Khansa Baig
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One day, an elephant offers a baby a ride through the town, and the set off on a great adventure. But when the elephant finds out that the bad baby has forgotten his manners, the adventure comes to an abrupt end.

This is an irresistible picture book with a naughty baby hero, and a repeated 'rumpeta trumpeta' of a chorus that children will love to join in with. The strong repetitive language and rhythm of the text is great for young children learning to read. This is a cumulative tale, where the
For me, the story was a bit weird. The elephant had no problem stealing but had a problem with the baby not saying the word, please. I suppose that he had his own moral code. Also one has to wonder if the shop owners told the mother about what the elephant and bad baby did.

What made this book was the illustrations. I know I'm biased as I'm a huge fangirl for Briggs but really the drawings make this book. My favorites were when all the shop owners run into the elephant's rump and the HUUUGE pan
Nov 03, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
"Not for us, thanks". I can't even read this to my child becasue I have a fundamental issue with the baby being labelled 'bad' throughout the book; the elephant stealing; the angry weapon wielding characters chasing the baby and elephant. It's a 'no' from me, sorry.
A classic from my childhood, the repetition is draining. The 2.5yo doesn’t yet notice I skip pages. Delightfully British characters, I find myself translating the snacks into American English. Has not led my toddler to saying “please” any more often.
Feb 18, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-children
The baby and elephant steal from a bunch of shops, but all the shopkeepers care about is the baby doesn’t say please. Little kids might enjoy the repetition, but it didn’t do anything for me and Briggs’ art has been better in some of his other books.
Lovely book with progression of people chasing the elephant rumpeta, rumpeta and the chasers getting increasingly frustrated. Ending with everyone having a lovely tea and the overall message of needing to say 'Please'.
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
used to teach about money.
Sep 13, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Lovely illustrations and good message regarding manners. However, I think a child would struggle to grasp the overall message of the book.
Aug 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think it was really good and the bad baby was my favouriot and it was good :)

I don't know how to review this one. My child likes it, mostly because he likes 'rumpeta, rumpeta, rumpeta' and elephants, but when I read it to him he asked me "name bad is?" and I went gah! 'um ... it means he's not doing what someone else wants him to do' and my heart almost broke that he'd made it through 2.5 years without knowing that innocent babes could be labelled 'bad' but that I then foolishly read him a book that says yes, babies can be BAD.

I freaking adore the naughtiness and
Sheri Radford
Feb 27, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids
I'm not clear why this picture book has become a classic.
Sep 06, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Elephant and the Bad Baby by Elfrida Vipont

A charming story of an elephant that befriends a little baby and shows him around town, taking food the baby would like to eat.

The trip around town begins at an ice cream van where the elephant asks the toddler if he would like an ice cream which the baby replies with a “yes”. The elephant then helps himself to an ice cream for the toddler and heads off with the unhappy ice cream man running after the both of them. Next, they pass a butcher’s shop.
Rosie Howard
In this story, an elephant goes on a walk through a town with a bad baby who he meets on the way. The two characters help themselves to whatever they fancy on their journey through the town, including taking ice cream from the ice cream man! The two characters are chased down the road by all the town folk who they have taken things from, until at the end the elephant comes to a halt as he realises the bad baby did once say please for all of the things he got for him.

On each page, after the
Sep 16, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Toddlers & up
Recommended to Allison by: 1001 BYMRBYGU
Shelves: 1001-cbymrbygu
What makes him a "bad" baby is that he doesn't say "please". The illustrations and story are humorous but I don't personally like the labeling of the baby as "bad". I don't like labeling in general to begin with and I could see an insecure child internalizing the sense that they are "bad" for forgetting to say "please".

Also, as someone who recognizes missed opportunities and feels compelled to point them out, the elephant could have been pointing out to the baby at each event that it needed to
Jul 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love this book even though it makes no sense. The elephant gives the Bad Baby a ride on his back. At each store they pass the elephant asks the baby if he would like something from the store. When the baby says yes, the elephant takes the offered item and eats one and gives one to the baby. No money is exchanged. The store owners chase after the elephant and the baby. All of a sudden the elephant becomes upset that the baby never said please. He stops running away from the shopkeepers who are ...more
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Born in Manchester in 1902, Elfrida Vipont Brown was the daughter of devout Quakers, and was educated at Manchester High School, before studying history at Manchester University, and singing in Paris, London and Leipzig. She worked for a time as a professional singer (experience she would use in her books), married research technologist R.P. Foulds in 1929, and had four daughters. Vipont published ...more