Free to Be Elephant Me

Free to Be Elephant Me
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
Release Date
June 01, 2021
Buy This Book
From the bestselling creators of Giraffes Can't Dance comes a delightful story about an elephant looking for a place where he belongs.
It's time for the Elephant Games! Every young elephant parades their talent in front of the king to earn their special elephant name. But Num-Num doesn't have a special skill to display. With a little help from some familiar friends, will this little elephant learn that being yourself is the most important talent of them all?

Readers will love seeing some of their favorite characters from Giraffes Can't Dance return. Free to Be Elephant Me is perfect for family sharing and for teaching young readers about the importance of being yourself.

Editor review

1 review
imaginative picture book about being yourself
Overall rating
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
FREE TO BE ELEPHANT ME is a picture book about embracing yourself as you are and allowing yourself to just be you. Every year, Elephant Mighty gives elephant names to the children based on their special skills in the Elephant Games. While other elephants know and show off their skills, Num-Num is nervous because he feels like he doesn't have any in particular. When he fails to perform something spectacular, he is named Elephant Nothing.

Heading away in sadness, he meets and spends time with other animals, who remind him of his other strengths, such as kindness. They encourage him to go back and confront Elephant Mighty. With their help, he does, wanting his name to be Elephant Me, as he can just be himself. When confronted, Elephant Mighty admits that he would also like to be free to be whoever he wants to be, and the book ends with a dance.

What I loved: Similar to the earlier book from this author/illustrator team, the text has a great rhythm and rhyme to it that will appeal to young ears. The story has lessons about embracing yourself as you are and not needing to do special tricks or skills, as well as the power of being free to be whoever you want to be. The book also emphasizes the importance of being kind, friendly, and true, though they may not be traditionally recognized, and they are something anyone can do!

The illustrations are imaginative and colorful with lots of great animals and details that really bring the story to life. Combined with the text, this is a really strong picture book with delightful rhyming text and vivid pictures that are sure to appeal to young readers.

Final verdict: With brightly colored illustrations and rhyming text, FREE TO BE ELEPHANT ME is a great story of embracing yourself as you are and celebrating your individuality. This will appeal greatly to preschool and elementary school aged readers.
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