But No Elephants

When my children were small we subscribed to the Parents Magazine children’s book club. Outside of feeding, clothing, housing, and loving them, it was perhaps the best thing I ever did for my kids.

Once a month or so the club sent two books to our home. Book arrival day was always a BIG DEAL. Each and every book we received was celebrated and read many, many times. We were pretty destitute in those days, and there were times when we could barely afford the cost, but we always bought the books.

Two books stand out in my memory as being favorites. One was The Monster at the End of this Book by Jon Stone.

This delightful tale never grew old. I enjoyed it because I could do my passable Grover impression while building the tension surrounding the appearance of the dreaded monster.

Spoiler Alert #1: Grover was the monster at the end of the book.

The other book that the children repeatedly clamored for was But No Elephants by Jerry Smith.

This sweet story featured Grandma Tildy, and the voice I used for her was remarkably similar to the one I used for Grover, just a couple of octaves higher and a bit shakier—my repertoire was pretty limited.

Grandma Tildy lived alone until a man came along peddling animals. She allowed him to coax her into buying one animal after another, but she drew the line at buying the elephant. The repetitive phrase, but no elephants, found on every third page or so, never failed to elicit giggles.

Spoiler Alert #2: Surprise! Grandma Tildy ends up adopting the elephant and they all live happily ever after.

I have no idea why these books were on my mind today. Maybe I’m feeling nostalgic for the days when my kids were little. Or maybe I miss impersonating lovable, furry old Grover. Maybe it’s a little of both.

Peace, people.

Author: nananoyz

I'm a semi-retired crazy person with one husband and two cats.

20 thoughts on “But No Elephants”

    1. At the time I had no inkling of the impact of repetition and predictability in text on a young child’s future reading ability. I just knew that they enjoyed guessing what was in the next page. When I returned to university to earn a degree in education I realized I’d accidentally done something right. Of course I’d accidentally done a lot of things wrong, but I try to forget those.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Perfect! Now I need to locate that book. My eldest granddaughter has a pet hedgehog, and while she’s 18 (the granddaughter, not the hedgehog), it sounds like something she’d like.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Like you, I was pretty poor when my son was born but joined a children’s book club any way. My mother could never understand that! “But No Elephants” was one of our favorites, too. It was cool that when 10 years later my first daughter was born and I had a whole library of children’s books to read to her (and later her younger sister). Good times. Thanks for the memories.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m glad to know that I’m not the only mom who enjoyed doing impersonations. To this day my grown sons tease me about my voice versions of Grover. Lol I too loved these books and so did my boys. Wonderful memories. Thanks for the memories. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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