Sunday, November 23, 2008

Book Review: "Stand Back," Said the Elephant, "I'm Going to Sneeze!" by Patricia Thomas

"Stand back," said the elephant,
"I'm going to sneeze!
I hate to alarm you,
But I don't wish to harm you.
My friends, I fear
It's clear....
Oh, dear,
You'd better stand back, I'm going to sneeze."

The animals are much distressed to hear the elephant's warning that a sneeze is imminent. They entreat him not to do it, reminding him of what happened to each of them the last time he let a sneeze go. Though he is sympathetic to their plight, it doesn't seem to be working, and the elephant is nearly ready to sneeze. But then that age-old and unlikely elephant nemesis, the mouse, manages to stop the elephant's sneeze! The elephant is so amazed, he starts to laugh, and laugh and laugh...and when he does...look out!

For Teachers and Librarians:
Your young charges will delight in the silly situations, colorful illustrations, and charming rhymes in "Stand Back," Said the Elephant, "I'm Going to Sneeze!" It is a great addition to a poetry unit, a fun aside to an animals unit, and a much-requested storytime staple. Compare and contrast animal groups and their characteristics, let them find and list rhyming words from the text, do a class read-aloud and let the children chime in on favorite parts. Have them come up with animals not in the book, and let them work in groups to write rhymes and illustrate how the elephant's sneeze would affect the new animals. But above all, have fun, fun, fun reading this book!

For Parents, Grandparents and Caregivers:
"Stand Back," Said the Elephant, "I'm Going to Sneeze!" is one fun book! Be prepared for your little ones to ask you to read this one over and over and over. Flowing rhymes, funny, colorful pictures, and a great story make this a book that has endeared itself to readers since 1971, and continues to do so - as you will soon find out once you introduce your small fries to it. Don't be surprised if they pull it out of your hands, and take over on their own.

For the Kids:
Did you ever wonder what would happen when an elephant sneezed? Well, if you read, "Stand Back," Said the Elephant, "I'm Going to Sneeze!" or have someone read it to you, you can find out. Here's a hint: bald bears, flying feathers, missing stripes and spots, and...well, you'd better get that book so you can see for yourself!

For Everyone Else:
If you were a tyke starting in the early 1970's, "Stand Back," Said the Elephant, "I'm Going to Sneeze!" may well be one of your most beloved books of the time. If you had tykes back then (kiddos or grands), you may remember the smiles and giggles this book brought to your little lovelies. If you're not any of those, get yourself a copy of this book, and see what all the fuss has been about. Then, make sure you get it into the hands of a little one you know. They will be forever grateful.

Wrapping Up:
"Stand Back," Said the Elephant, "I'm Going to Sneeze!" is a true giggle-fest, and an enduring children's book classic. Find a copy, get reading, and join in the fun.

Title: "Stand Back," Said the Elephant, "I'm Going to Sneeze!"
Author: Patricia Thomas
Illustrator: Wallace Tripp
Pages: 32
Reading Level: Ages 4-8
Publisher and Date: Lothrop, Lee and Shepard Books, 1990
Edition: Second
Language: English
Published In: United States
Price: $16.99
ISBN (trade): 0688093388
ISBN (library): 0688093396

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