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"Stand Back," Said the Elephant, "I'm Going to Sneeze!"
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"Stand Back," Said the Elephant, "I'm Going to Sneeze!"

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  981 ratings  ·  127 reviews
Knowing the havoc it will cause, all the animals try to prevent the elephant from sneezing.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published April 23rd 1990 by William Morrow & Company, Inc. (first published 1971)
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4.39  · 
Rating details
 ·  981 ratings  ·  127 reviews

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May 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh my goodness. So funny, I truly did laugh out loud. The pictures are funny enough for toddlers to enjoy, the rollicking rhyme will encourage an independent reader to read this over and over, the pictures of the animals reacting to the elephant's announcement are vividly both true to the animals and true to the humor, there are a lot of different animals to meet, and the two-part ending packs a punch neither to be expected nor soon-forgotten.

As you can read, I'm still breathless & giddy. I
Feb 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
The elephant, of course, is going to sneeze. (Actually, there are youtube videos of elephants sneezing and not much happens because of it, but realism isn't the point, now is it?) So he warns everybody, and they start giving these long (long! don't read this book to a kiddo with a short attention span!) pleas, reminding him of the disaster that struck the LAST time he sneezed - the bear went bare, and all the hippopotamuseses fell on their bottomuseses, the feathers fell off the birds and the fl ...more
Sarah Sammis
Oct 17, 2010 rated it really liked it
"Stand Back," Said the Elephant, "I'm Going to Sneeze!" by Patricia Thomas is a doozy of a title. But it gets to the heart of this silly rhyming story. An elephant is having a bad case of sneezes and they are causing no end of trouble for the other animals.

The winning element for me on this story is the artwork. The illustrations are just the right combination of realistic and ridiculous. Take for instance the very surprised zebra watching his black stripes fly in all directions or the birds hav
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not only is this one of my favorite children's books, it's also a favorite of my mother's. I think she could recite nearly the entire thing. The illustrations are by Wallace Trip (who authored & illustrated another of my favorites: Sir Toby Jingle's Beastly Journey).

It's a wonderful & hilarious book. As the elephant is about to sneeze, he warns all the animals & insects to flee, due to the damage he inadvertently does to them. However, a small mouse takes it upon himself to try to i
One of the joys of working in adult services in the library is occasionally covering the children's desk and discovering old favorites. I doubt I had seen this book since I was a child (published when I was two), but I ventured across it while gathering reserves for customers this morning. I vividly remembered the great title, designed to pique a child's interest, and, for some reason, all of the hair falling off of the bear! The rhymes are fun and intricate and I imagine that's what made it mem ...more
John Yelverton
Jul 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is an absolutely wonderful children's book that will delight everyone who reads it.
Evelyn Morgan
Apr 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-ya
I don't know when I first read this children's book. I think I ordered it from the "I Can Read" book club back when my two children were quite young. That would be in the mid-70s. All I know is that I still have that copy. My children and I both loved it and they asked me to read it to them dozens of times. The story is charming, the rhymes hilarious, and the illustrations wonderfully done.
Dec 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Everbody has to run away because [spoiler alert] the elephant was going to sneeze. Was that a magic world? How did every single zebra stripe go bye-bye and his mouth turned rightside out?
Jun 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
I feel so sorry for the animals who ever have to live with this particular elephants. Although he seems like he is friendly and maybe a great guy down in heart he is so unpredictable with his responses to the world around him that he ends up causing more problems than can ever be expected. Sounds like some of us right?

This is a great book and its rhyming words will please the ear of young children. Unfortunately it is a bit on the longish side so the youngest of children may not find it as ent
Eva Leger
Oct 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Eva by: library
Shelves: julias-books
This is super cute! I was surprised Julia got as into the illustrations as she did, just because of the more reserved tone but she really, really enjoyed them. She devoured each page. I'd be lying if I said I didn't do the same.
The story is one of the few that really can make you LOL. In a time when this little term, three little letters, make everything seem so darn funny, this story really is.
We read in the back of the book that this was Patricia Thomas' first book! I'm going to have to see
Our copy of this book is a Weekly Reader edition that belonged to my husband when he was little. Delightful art, bursting with personality and humor. The rollicking rhyme works well for this silly tale of animals begging an elephant not to unleash his powerful and destructive sneeze. A frequent read-aloud request from my younger children. (I admit: when the toddler is the sole requester, I usually only read the first couple of lines on each page. The book is a bit text-heavy for a two-year-old, ...more
Nov 14, 2007 rated it really liked it
I grew up having this book read to me and now I get to read it with my kids. It rhymes, though it isn't as rhythmic as I'd like it sometimes. The pictures are fun and the storyline is nonsensical and amusing. Lots of fake sneezing happens during the reading of this book.:-)
Brooke Loewen
This is by far the most memorable book from my childhood. I vividly remember my mother reading this book to me with such expression in her voice every time the elephant was about to sneeze! I remember giggling every time the huge let out a sneeze that was so fierce and powerful it caused a disaster! Every time the elephant would sneeze, the animals from the previous disaster-causing sneeze would beg the elephant to never sneeze again! The illustrations were a great interpretation of the elephant ...more
Feb 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-and-ya
One of the great read-alouds, particularly if you are a ham reader and pretend to be an elephant warning the forest and grassland and river and lake animals that you are about to sneeze while you are trying your best not to.

This was a favorite when my own thirty-something daughters were young children. I bought a gift copy (and one for me) for a friend’s three-year old. It is not quite Seussian, though it doth so aspire, McGuire, and it’s close enough in wit and rhyme to count or miscount as di
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Genre: Modern Fantasy
Grade: 1st-2nd
its an elephant that is about to sneeze, but instead of helping the elephent not sneeze, all the animals just yell at him and tell him not to sneeze, because he will destroy everything with a powerful sneeze. Then finaly someone actualy does help their friend out instead of yelling at him. good story.
Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I remember this book from when I was a little girl. No one wants the elephant to sneeze, the last time he sneezed the stripes came off from the zebras, the feathers fell off of the birds, the crocodiles snouts turned inside out.
Apr 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s
What a fun book! I remember reading this aloud to my children 20 years ago! Wow! Where does the time go?! There is so much joy in the rhyming and my favorite illustration is the one where the zebra loses his stripes! This is a book that needs to be shared.
May 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book! My daughter loved it so much we read it almost every night while we had it checked out from the library.
Wetdryvac Wetdryvac
Oct 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An old favorite that still stands up well.
Feb 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Another favorite in our family; the rhyme carries the story along so endearingly that the kids can’t get enough of this charmer
Laura Petersen
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Favorite book for kids!
Samantha Smith
Feb 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Very funny, great vocabulary, wonderfully absurd! It is a favorite with our grandchildren.
Amy Forrester
Oct 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Oh no! Look out! The elephant thinks he’s going to sneeze! This sends the other animals into a panic. The last time the elephant sneezed the birds lost all their feathers, the stripes flew off the zebra, and the monkeys fell out of the trees. The elephant tries, but he really can’t help it he’s about to sneeze. And then at the very last second out pops a mouse with a deafening, “BOO!” The elephant is so scared that he forgets to sneeze! The animals think they're saved, but then the mouse explain ...more
Sep 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book has been a long time favorite at our house. I'm reviewing it today because I want anyone reading this review who has young kids to get a copy! I read it to my Kindergartener's class today and even though it's a long-ish book, they were completely engrossed in it and laughed and laughed at the end. It is such a wonderful book all about what happens in the jungle when an elephant sneezes. The rhyming is fantastic and it's even fun to use different animal voices as you read it...i.e. bees ...more
Christy Johnson
May 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
Written entirely in poem form, this book enchanted me as a young child visiting my Grandparents. In fact in 6th grade when we had to recite a poem for the class I chose this book- the entire book. Needless to say it is permanently engraved on the fiber of my brain forever.

The story follows an elephant who is fighting off a terrible sneeze and warns his friends to stay away. They panic and remind elephant of all of the humorously catastrophic things that happened before (Oh, please, not a sneeze
Donna Crane
The tension builds for young readers as the animals relate in dramatic fashion the LAST time the elephant sneezed. "The last time you sneezed we lost every feather. We didn't know whether/We'd ever get back together. Every parakeet/Was as bare as a sheet/From his head to his feet" we read as the elephant writhes in agony, trying to suppress the inevitable windstorm. There's the hippopotamus who will fall right on its bottom-us, the bear who'll lose all his get the picture. Then out ju ...more
Mar 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I first read “Stand Back,” Said the Elephant, “I’m Going to Sneeze!” when my children were little, and now all these years later, it still brings a chuckle or two. The story is written in rhyme with lots of humor by Patricia Thomas, and Wallace Tripp’s artwork is charming. If you can get your hands on a copy of this delightful picture story book, it would be a perfect gift for the young ones in your life.

All of the animals panic when the elephant says he going to sneeze.
“Beware, beware,”
Dec 04, 2013 added it
Shelves: t-l-307
The elephant tries to warn everyone that he is about to sneeze. We follow what happens to the rest of the animals when the elephant sneezes. Just as he is about to sneeze the little mouse yells “BOO!” to scare the elephant in order to make him forget about sneezing. The little mouse’s plan works but as he explains his reasoning for his actions; the elephant starts laughing so hard that he falls on his back. The elephant laughing too hard sends the other animals into havoc as if they would if the ...more
Bailee Loewen
Jan 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: animals
This was one of my all time favorite books as a child. The thought of an elephant sneezing and causing a disaster is so funny as a child! All of the animals are still traumatized by the last instance in which the elephant sneezed and they beg him not to repeat it! The images went hand in hand with the ridiculous idea of an elephant having to sneeze and his friends begging him not to. The pictures were over the top and silly while still being realistically illustrated. The rhyming adds to the lig ...more
May 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This was a childhood favorite (my parents’ copy was falling apart for years, but they still have it, the spine held together with duct tape) and for Valentine’s Day, my mother sent me a reissued copy. So I re-read it for this packet. No wonder I loved it as a kid. It’s hilarious—all about an elephant who realizes he needs to sneeze, and the animals who plead with him not to because of the horrible things that happened last time. So instead he starts laughing, and he chortles so long and loud, th ...more
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Patricia Thomas is the author of Firefly Mountain; There Are Rocks in Socks, Said the Ox to the Fox; The One-and-Only, Super-Duper, Golly-Whopper, Jim Dandy, Really Handy Clock Tock Stopper; and Stand Back, Said the Elephant, Im Going to Sneeze, featured on the PBS Storytime series. Thomas graduated from Penn State University and has worked as a writer and editor in practically every area of the a ...more