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Humperdink Our Elephant Friend

Humperdink Our Elephant Friend

Published: 18 May 2021

Paperback / softback, 32 pages

Recommended for age 3+

By Sean Taylor

Illustrated by Claire Alexander

Published by Frances Lincoln Publishers Ltd

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When Humperdink the baby elephant joins the children's playgroup, he seems friendly enough, but it soon becomes clear that he's not very good at the usual games the children play, like dressing up or hide-and-seek. When he breaks the children's favourite slide, everyone feels sad. But with a little patience and understanding the children soon discover that Humperdink is good at some things - especially if they use their imaginations - leading to a riotously fun conclusion.

A delightful picture book with endearing artwork and a humorous story to engage young readers and help them gain an understanding about those different from themselves. This title helps children learn the key skill of playing with and accepting new friends, whatever their size, shape... or species! Exploring themes of empathy and imaginative play, this title is a must-have for young readers seeking to understand the world around them.

Tagged elephants

Reviewed by Lucy Timmons

Humperdink: Our Elephant Friend is a charming picturebook is an absolute must for any EYFS setting. Humperdink, the elephant, joins a playgroup, and the story follows his journey of ‘fitting in’ with the group. The language is straightforward and will appeal to all young children and enable them to develop a sense of empathy.

Sean Taylor and Claire Alexander cleverly made the ‘other’ in this story an elephant which, I feel, symbolises the enormity of how that can feel for both parties. This is emphasised by the unfortunate fact that Humperdink cannot play the game the group loves to play. Children of this age group are then given the opportunity to explore what happens when you break from your safe place and what you want to do all the time and the exciting things that can happen when you engage with someone new.

I love how this book weaves empathy and imaginative play through a warm, delightful and moving plot. Arguably, Humperdink: Our Elephant Friend could be explored with older children to discuss what Humperdink could symbolise.

A beautiful hardback with charming illustrations.

Lucy Timmons is a professionally trained actress and Executive Head teacher based in South East London. Her keen passion is the use of 'Rehearsal Room Pedagogy' as both a medium to create a constructivist approach to learning for children and professionals.