Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Tarra & Bella: The Elephant and Dog Who Became Best Friends” as Want to Read:
Tarra & Bella: The Elephant and Dog Who Became Best Friends
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Tarra & Bella: The Elephant and Dog Who Became Best Friends

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  602 ratings  ·  110 reviews
Best friends come in all shapes and sizes! After retiring from the circus, Tarra became the first resident of the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. When other elephants moved in and developed close friendships, only Tarra remained independent? until the day she met a stray mixed-breed dog named Bella.

It was love at first sight as this unlikely duo became inseparable. They a
...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 8th 2009 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Tarra & Bella, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Tarra & Bella

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.32  · 
Rating details
 ·  602 ratings  ·  110 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Mischenko
Mar 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
See my Q&A including updates with Carol Buckley and learn more about Tarra at www.readrantrockandroll.com

Tarra & Bella: The Elephant and Dog Who Became Best Friends by Carol Buckley is the touching story about an unlikely animal friendship between Tarra the elephant, and Bella the dog at the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee.

The story itself is so heartwarming, but the added photographs of Tarra & Bella make it one of the best animal friendship books we've read.

After reading about Ta
...more
Kathryn
Aug 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
I love elephants! I love dogs! And I really, really liked this book! It tells the sweet, resilient friendship of two unlikely companions.

Terra is a retired show elephant, who starred in such films as "Annie" She was the first elephant at the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. And she was very welcoming to all the other elephants that arrived as the sanctuary expanded. But, while the other elephants formed bonds with one another, Tarra didn't have that one special soul-mate. Until one day Bella fou
...more
Ann
Aug 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Ann by: Katie
I made it about 75% of the way through this book before I had to grab a metaphorical tissue. :)

This is a wonderful (true) example of finding friendship in the most unexpected places. I love the sincere and unbreakable bond between Elephant and Dog - their loyalty is truly something to aspire to.

The book chronicles the elephant's (Tara) arrival to the sanctuary, her part in introducing new elephants to the sanctuary and how she never gets her one best friend. Until the sweet dog, Bella, shows up
...more
Brenda
Feb 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: info-bios
I want to read this book everyday. The true story of an older nurturing elephant who lives on an elephant reserve in Tennesse is charming enough. But add to that a stray, chubby dog named Bella who is adopted by Tarra. The play together, "chatter" and take advantage of the "meals on wheels" service that is available to them....until the day that Bella is badly hurt. The story is a fascinating story of animal emotions and strange friendship. The photos looks as if someone has follwed these two ar ...more
Cheryl
Sep 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s, animals
Tarra was the first resident at the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. Other elephants soon arrived and they formed friendships. But Tarra remained alone and lonely until the arrival of Bella the dog. Thus began an inseparable relationship. This true story of a remarkable friendship will touch your heart and the hearts of young readers.
Abigail
May 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Young Elephant Lovers
If it has occurred to you, fellow reader, that there seems to have been an explosion of picture-books detailing inspirational true stories of unlikely cross-species animal friendship recently, then you are not alone. I think by now the picture-book reader is probably pretty familiar with the tale of Owen and Mzee , the baby hippo and ancient tortoise brought together in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami. He or she may also have come across the story of the Two Bobbies , a dog and cat who survi ...more
Tracy The Great
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I think it is a good book and i think it such an inspiring book and i recommend it to anybody who loves animal friendships
Lauren M
Feb 02, 2017 rated it liked it
So cute,I have to say it was an amazing story
Eva Leger
I need stories like this. Sometimes I hear stories that make me want to lose faith. And sometimes I find a story like this.
I couldn't stop thinking the last few nights about an article I read about a "woman" who, because of anger towards her boyfriend, picked up his puppy and threw him or her out of a second story window. The dog didn't live. I suppose that was a blessing in itself. The boyfriend? Was he furious? Did he want the person responsible locked up? Punished? No. "She didn't mean it." T
...more
Cris Ingram
A retired circus elephant befriends a stray dog in the elephant sanctuary. They become best friends and inseparable . The photographs are good and the two are so cute together.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Nov 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children
Tarra was a roller-skating elephant in the circus, in a movie, and on television. Finally, she was retired and taken to live in a sanctuary for elephants in Tennessee. Usually, an elephant will befriend another elephant, but Tarra did not make a friend there for a long time. One day, however, she met Bella and, unexpectedly, the two became best friends.

The text is simple and easy to understand. The book is illustrated with photographs of Tarra and Bella.

A little:
“Bella was rushed to the animal
...more
Amy
This book tells such a sweet story, and the photographs are beautiful! My niece enjoyed this story more than my nephew did, but surprisingly, neither kid seemed too emotionally invested. I think the kids *liked* this book, but I think their reactions to it were less enthusiastic than I expected. I really thought that my niece would just love this book, but I was much more swept up by the warm-fuzzy factor than she was. My niece spent most of the story wondering how the friendship between this el ...more
Dolly
Sep 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a very nice tale about an elephant and a dog who became the best of friends. The story is very similar in many ways to the "Owen and Mzee" tale, of course with other animals. And the photography, story and information about the elephant sanctuary are from the founding director and CEO of the sanctuary, so I'm sure it's a bit of an effort to advertise her pet project.

But to be fair, it's a heartwarming tale and our girls really enjoyed hearing it. They also enjoyed hearing about the diff
...more
Peacegal
Mar 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humane-education
This is a delightful children’s book on the subject of an inter-species friendship between Tarra, an Asian elephant at Tennessee’s Elephant Sanctuary, and Bella, a mixed-breed stray dog who showed up on the property. Despite their obvious differences, the two became fast friends.

The full-color photographs do a great job in study of perspective. We get to see how truly massive the elephant is in relation to the little dog—and how gentle she must be in order to look after Bella.

A section in the
...more
Nickie
Feb 09, 2011 rated it liked it
It's interesting to see something like this happen in the four legged animal world. It's something the two legged human animals can learn from. My kids enjoyed.
Karen
Jun 09, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: mom, ellie
Ellie, my animal lover, loves to read stories like this one. It was fun eating breakfast with her while she read the page closest to her and I read the page closest to me...krb 8/15/16
Laura
Apr 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: animal, true-stories
Good story about how a dog became friends with an elephant. I liked it a lot!
Michele Knott
This story of an unlikely friendship will for sure go straight to your heart!
Julia Jasztal
Jan 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
(Mommy's review from 2/29/12)


I need stories like this. Sometimes I hear stories that make me want to lose faith. And sometimes I find a story like this.
I couldn't stop thinking the last few nights about an article I read about a "woman" who, because of anger towards her boyfriend, picked up his puppy and threw him or her out of a second story window. The dog didn't live. I suppose that was a blessing in itself. The boyfriend? Was he furious? Did he want the person responsible locked up? Punished
...more
Miss Ryoko
Oct 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
What a wonderful story about a truly special friendship! I loved seeing the real live pictures of these two besties and was sorry to hear of Tarra's loss a few years back.

Animals are truly remarkable creatures.
Briana
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: social-skills
I like a good friendship story, but this one didn’t seem to lead anywhere too fascinating. Wish there had been a smidge more drama.
Laura
Jul 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, animals
Great story about the friendship between an elephant and a dog. Also made me aware of an elephant sanctuary in Tennessee.
Kimberly Weed
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love Tarra the elephant and Bella the dog. A true story of a beautiful friendship between these two animals who live at the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee (elephants.com).
Jeimy
Jan 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love stories about animal friendships and I love the Elephant Sanctuary in TN. This is an amazing book for fans of Owen & Mzee or animal lovers in general.
Kirsten Stone
Apr 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Sweet and true!
Megan Taulbee
Aug 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I liked how the pictures were photographs. It was a very good story about how two animals that are extremely different became friends with one another. I think it has a good lesson for kids.
Alexis Stafford
The story of Tarra & Bella: The Elephant and Dog who became best friends, is a true story that will touch any reader and teach young children lessons about life. This story shares the unlikely friendship between a dog and an elephant. Tarra is a trained entertainer elephant who appeared in circus' and a variety of shows, once her time as an entertainer was up, Tarra was sent to a Wildlife Sanctuary in Tennessee where she would be the first of many elephants to be given the freedom to roam in ...more
Shannon
Jan 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
This is the heartwarming true story of an inter-species friendship- Tarra (the elephant) and Bella (the dog) who became best friends. Both are residents of the Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee, which was founded by Tarra's owner Carol Buckley (who is also the author). Tarra was the first inhabitant of the elephant sanctuary and as a gracious host, has helped acclimate many elephants to their new home. All of the other elephants have developed close friendships with one of their species ...more
Allison
Apr 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: text-set
This non-fiction picture book, featuring real photographs, tells the story of how Tarra, a retired circus elephant, and Bella, a stray dog, became best friends. Tarra was one of the first elephants to be brought to The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee, where the animals are able to live in a more wild-like atmosphere than a zoo. While the other elephants quickly found another friend, Tarra never did; until one morning when she woke up with Bella sleeping next to her other. The elephant acknowledg ...more
Debbie E.
Mar 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A fascinating story about a larger-than-life elephant and a playful stray dog who form a unique bond with one another. Bella has no fear of her mammoth best bud and Tarra sees the furry little dog as her equal. These creatures inspire hope that, indeed, we can all get along.
Buckley's photos capture the fun and excitement of these two special friends.
This true story raises our awareness that we are all connected. Like minded souls do not recognize or care about differences in appearance, backgr
...more
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Owen and Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship
  • Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine & a Miracle
  • Friends: True Stories of Extraordinary Animal Friendships
  • Meet the Dogs of Bedlam Farm
  • Two Bobbies: A True Story of Hurricane Katrina, Friendship, and Survival
  • Winter's Tail: How One Little Dolphin Learned to Swim Again
  • Saving Audie: A Pit Bull Puppy Gets a Second Chance
  • Kate & Pippin: An Unlikely Love Story
  • Little Dog Lost: The True Story of a Brave Dog Named Baltic
  • Never Smile at a Monkey: And 17 Other Important Things to Remember
  • ZooBorns!: Zoo Babies from Around the World
  • Posy
  • Stay: The True Story of Ten Dogs
  • Miracle Mud
  • Can We Save the Tiger?
  • Curious Critters
  • Butterflies And Moths
  • Koko's Kitten
See similar books…