Today we’re joining the Book + Craft Ideas Week to share another fun book extension activity. The picture book Strictly No Elephants is a charming story about friendship, fitting in, and embracing differences.
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Simply No Elephants, written by Lisa Mantchev and illustrated by Taeeun Yoo, tells of a little boy with a “tiny elephant for a pet.” My favorite scene shows the boy carrying the tiny-but-still-large elephant over a sidewalk crack that it’s afraid of because,
“That’s what friends do: lift each other over the cracks.”
The boy finds that he and his elephant aren’t welcome at Pet Club Day – a sign on the door says “Strictly No Elephants.”
They turn around and the little pet elephant leads the way, right over the sidewalk cracks because,
“That’s what friends do: brave the scary things for you.”
Isn’t that beautiful!
The story continues, and they befriend other children with unusual pets: a skunk, a giraffe, a hedgehog, penguin, narwhal, bat, armadillo, and more. In the end, they start their own club, where everyone is welcome.
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Book Extension Activity — Play Dough Craft
I was trying to think of a craft for this story, and I remembered all the simple animals my girls were drawing last year. They all had an oval as the foundation.
Then I got out the play dough.
It turns out it’s really easy to make flat play dough animals. Much easier than fully 3-D ones.
You roll a ball, then roll the ball into a bit of a log shape. Then you press that flat into an oval. Add bits for legs, head, tail, ears, and if it’s an elephant — a trunk!
This turned out to be a good way to use up the mystery color play dough you get when lots of colors get mixed together.
You can also make other animals this way. We made a giraffe and a skunk.
The finishing touch was my crafting favorite – googly eyes!
This was all a fun way to remember a sweet story of friendship. Strictly No Elephants is quickly on its way to becoming one of our favorites.
Also recommended: The Blind Men and the Elephant (affiliate)