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If Elephants Disappeared

(If Animals Disappeared)

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  152 ratings  ·  32 reviews
What would happen if elephants disappeared? Trace the repercussions of a world without elephants in writer and illustrator Lily Williams' third picture book about loss and conservation.

The Congolese forest is home to many types of animals.
Some are strong.
Some are slippery.
Some are loud.
And some, like the elephant, are BIG.

The elephant has become synonymous with the image
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published September 17th 2019 by Roaring Brook Press
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Average rating 4.11  · 
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 ·  152 ratings  ·  32 reviews

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Sep 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Make your 100th book of the year count, they said. Read something memorable, they said.

Well here it is. Lily’s 3rd book in her environmental series is as good and as beautiful as the previous two. Incredibly illustrated and thoughtfully written, this book explains what could happen if we are not careful and shows us that we can still make things right again.

Every child should read these books - their future is in their hands and there is still time to make it right.
A thoughtful look at what might happen if the African Forest Elephant were removed from its ecosystem - the repercussions that would exist simply from the lack of elephant dung to spread and fertilize seeds. The book presents a lot of excellent information for young readers, written in a style that is understandable and accessible for elementary school-age children, with colorful, cute illustrations from the author/illustrator, Lily Williams. Ms. Williams us also the author of If Polar Bears Dis ...more
Larissa Church
Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Elephants are one of my favorite animals and the thought of them disappearing is heartbreaking. This book does an excellent job of explaining why it’s important for us to protect elephants — besides the fact that they’re so cute! The illustrations are adorable and I really like the “how You Can Help Save Elephants” section at the end. We can all do our part to make sure elephants don’t disappear!
Edward Sullivan
A thoughtful, informative, poignant look at what would be the catastrophic consequence of African elephants becoming extinct.
Sep 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There will be times when the title of a book alone brings you to tears. The thought of the words becoming a reality is too painful to envision. As a child you believed you might never see certain animals because they lived on continents or habitats far removed from yours. As a much older adult you know you might never see them because they have gone extinct . . . because of humans, their greatest threat.

This coming Friday, September 20, 2019 and next Friday, September 27, 2019 mark the Global Cl
I'm pleased to be able to add this informational picture book to my collection even though the title made me sad. Just imagine if there were no more elephants in the world! As she has done in her previous eco-friendly books intended to raise awareness about the effect on the environment of the loss of one important species--If Sharks Disappeared and If Polar Bears Disappeared, Lily Williams provides stunning reasons to care if African forest elephants no longer walked the earth. Since they are k ...more
Pair with Giraffe Extinction for a real gut punch...

Great intro to this beautiful, but threatened, creature. Lovely illustrations (bonus points for depicting Black children in nature!) and clear consequences of the loss of elephants. I was a little surprised that "trophic cascade" wasn't defined in the glossary. (If it's defined in the text, is it not in the glossary? Am I forgetting how glossaries work?) It's a term that I was hearing for the first time, so I can only imagine that many children
Apr 16, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
A very good book, but with addendums. First off, it was a bit wordy. It was extremely important, but also fell a little short in a number of ways: first off, it diminishes the fact that God keeps creation turning, but still people should take care which takes us to problem number two: no clear action steps. And problem three: like many of these environmental type books, it focuses on making the children afraid of the future and paralyzed by the same fear that the author has. If there is no god, ...more
May 30, 2021 rated it liked it
Okay so while I love the idea of this book, I don't love the way it was executed.

The flow of the book is really off. The beginning just tells facts ( I guess trying to give background information) and then we finally get into the chain reaction of "if elephants disappeared..."
Elephants are a keystone species and I like that that information was included in the text but then it only focused on elephant's poop. They do so much more than that! They dig watering holes for other animals (they can sme
“From dung, to plants, to animals, to people, all life on Earth is intricately connected and balanced, and each organism plays a part in helping the world to thrive.”

Elephants are a keystone species which means they have a profound impact on their ecosystem. If they disappear, it will create a ripple effect that could destroy their ecosystem. “This chain effect, called a trophic cascade, would spread across different ecosystems, eventually changing the world as we know it.”

The book ends with a c
Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: informational
This informational text describes why elephants are very important animals and how they contribute to various parts of the world. Their presence is crucial in order to keep the world running as it is now; however, if we lost them it would lead to other catastrophic events as told in a sequential manner. Wrapping the book up, the author explains what we can do so this will not happen.

I would unquestionably recommend this book because it shows a chain effect if elephants no longer existed. Studen
Oct 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
The subject matter is heartbreaking, but this book is quite informative and does a good job at conveying how interconnected African forest elephants are to the world around them. The artwork in this is startling beautiful - I actually gasped when I opened the book and saw the gorgeous front endpaper illustration.
Laura Perdew
Nov 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love this series of books by Lily Williams. Oftentimes people hear about the decline of a species and mourn for that species without considering what happens to ecosystems when they disappear. This is an important topic for kids! I hope the stunning illustrations combined with the informative text will launch larger discussions with kids about keystone species.
Jan 06, 2020 rated it liked it
I love what this book was attempting to accomplish, but sadly it wasn't very enjoyable. Super important topic and information, but the story is crazy repetitive - the same sentence is used on nearly every page, which made it boring for the older readers, but nice for the younger-s because they could anticipate the sentence and "read" it out loud. ...more
Great story for Upper Elementary. Encouraging read for informational report, research, or read-aloud. The story is about what would happen if Elephants became extinct and goes into explaining key concepts of biodiversity and ecosystem. Included notes on the back for further action if touched by the story which I appreciated.
The third book in this series transports us to the Congo Basin Forest, where we learn the importance of the African Forest Elephant, and the detrimental global effects of their annihilation. The end papers would make a beautiful painting, and the back matter make this the perfect book for the elementary child.
Jan 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pb-non-fiction
Important topic. Text not necessarily dispersed evenly throughout the book. It starts very simple and immediately jumps into so much detail about the types of elephants that a younger audience would be lost but as an adult reader, you can shorten some of the text and not lose the meaning. Well, researched. Can be used for learning about saving an animal species.
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Young readers can easily follow Williams text about extinction. She clearly explains what will happen if elephants disappear. The illustrations are incredible and make readers feel they are standing in the scene.
Mar 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Throughly researched and beautifully illustrated, If Elephants Disappeared takes readers on a journey through the African forests, and encourages young and old alike to make our voices heard to protect the world around us (even the big guys need a little help sometimes).
Franki Sibberson
Love this series and glad to see another. Lily Williams makes these complex science concepts accessible.
There's a very important message in this book, and it is delivered well. The target audience (children) will understand what the author is conveying. ...more
Miss Sarah
Nov 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
An elementary and up book about elephants and then presenting a string of what if's that would happen if they were to become extinct. Great and easy to follow. ...more
Dec 31, 2019 rated it liked it
Winter break bookaday #17. Love this series, the artwork, layout, back matter, everything.
Lily Williams book beautifully describes how important elephants are and what it would mean if they disappeared. I would use this book to read aloud to primary aged children.
Abby Williams
This book was about the endangerment of the different types of elephants and what would happen if they did not exist. It also included how we could prevent this from happening.
This series is excellent!!
Eileen Winfrey
Jul 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Informative, charming, beautifully illustrated. Helpful list of resources for further research in the back. What more can you ask of children’s nonfiction?
Kelly Jahng
Oct 24, 2020 rated it liked it
Interesting, but a little too simple. I expected more detail about the specific ways the environment would be impacted by the loss of elephants.
Peggy Dynek
Mar 01, 2021 rated it really liked it
A thoughtful examination of the environmental changes that would take place in Africa if elephants were to disappear. Student connection has been strong!
Mar 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing
My 6yo has expressed that this series is her FAVORITE. My 5yo liked how I said dung so many times in this one 🙄
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Lily Williams is the author and illustrator of the If Animals Disappeared nonfiction picture book series and graphic novel Go With The Flow (co-written with Karen Schneemann). She grew up in Northern California where she received her B.F.A. from California College of the Arts. Lily seeks to inspire change, engage audiences, and educate people of all ages with her artwork. Her work can be seen in f ...more

Other books in the series

If Animals Disappeared (4 books)
  • If Sharks Disappeared
  • If Polar Bears Disappeared
  • If Bees Disappeared

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