In the shadow of an elephant by Georgie Donaghey, illustrated by Sandra Severgnini

For a long time all was still. Lualani smelled the air, just as Mumma taught her. She called and called, but Mumma did not answer.

In the Shadow of an Elephant written by Georgie Donaghey and illustrated by Sandra Severgnini is a picture book that will pull on your heart strings in many different ways.

Young Lualani is an elephant who loves wondering around with her Mother until hunters scatter the herd and she is lost and alone. Luckily for her a boy named Jabari and his Papa come by and take Lualani into their care.

Together they play until the sun, with their shadows dancing and the water splashing about. Jabari is always there for her when she misses her mother and welcomes more elephants into the sanctuary as time goes on.

The relationship between Jabari and Lualani is beautiful. Not only are they friends who have fun together, they also look out for each other when they feel sad and alone. The relationship between Jabari and Lualani is strong and Georgie Donaghey’s words along with Sandra Severgnini’s illustrations show the emotion through powerful words, contrasting colours and the use of white space.

A strange cry pulled Lualani from her thoughts. She ran towards the sound that grew louder with each step.

This Picture book is one to be read to show how important it is to care for others and the world around you. It shows just how much a small act of kindness can change someone else’s life and that without close relationships, we cannot grow and be who we really can be.

In the Shadow of an Elephant is a book that will bring a tear to your eye but it will also flood love into your heart.

We have loved reading this book and there are some great teacher notes that fit well into the Australia school curriculum. You can look into areas of animal conservation, elephants and their life cycle/habitats, geography, relationships, literacy and many more – check them out below.

Teacher Notes here:


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