Amongst the undergrowth, he meets a rude gorilla, a weary lion, an impolite hippo and an uncaring crocodile. Will anyone help Ernest find his way out of the jungle and home to his mum? From the international phenomenon, Anthony Browne, comes a heartfelt, visually stunning picture book, about finding help in unexpected places.
Reviewed by Aimee Durning
Anthony Browne’s Ernest the Elephant is a window into a young elephant’s consciousness. Ernest has started to wonder whether there was more to life than walking, drinking and eating with his herd. He longed to investigate further, beyond following his mother and their herd. Ernest thinks that he knows best and decides to ignore his mother’s wise words of warning about straying too far from the herd.
Enticed by the exotic colours of the dense jungle the young elephant quietly slips away. Alone, away from the safety of the others! Ernest thinks to himself that the jungle is absolutely amazing but ever so slightly frightening. As he ventures further into the jungle, he begins to feel alone and very worried. Will the animals of the jungle help Ernest find his mummy and the others?
This picture book is perfect for demonstrating to children that things are not always as they seem. Even though the jungle is full of brightly colourful wonders it is not the place for a young elephant without his friends or family.
Ernest the Elephant provides examples of those who are unkind, selfish and unhelpful. However, kindness can come along unexpectedly even in the ever so slightly scary jungle.
Ernest the Elephant is a wonderful reminder of the core values of compassion, kindness and belonging.