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Linda Ashman's Picture Book Ella Who? Can Introduce the Concept of Animal Sanctuaries to Young Children

Updated on June 29, 2017
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Cindy Hewitt is a retired teacher with a passion for children's literature. Read-aloud stories add quality to a child's life experiences.

Ella Who? Teaches Friendship and Care for Wild Animals

Moving day arrives for a little girl and her family. The parents are distracted by all of the activity that comes with bringing boxes and furniture into the new house, and the little girl makes an interesting discovery behind a potted plant. She tries to tell her parents, but they are busy. They assume that she is talking about a new friend who has come to meet the new neighbors when she tells them that Ella is in the living room. The little girl takes Ella upstairs to help with her baby brother. She and her new friend share activities throughout the day and a new friendship is born. A man soon knocks on the door and leaves some flyers about a missing baby elephant that has escaped from the wild animal sanctuary that is located in the town. The little girl realizes that her new friend Ella is the missing baby elephant and she calls the number on the flyer to have Ella picked up and returned to the sanctuary. The little girl's parents never realize that there actually was an elephant in the house. Sometimes parents are just out of the loop when it comes to their child's secret!

Ella Who? was published by Sterling Children's Books and is recommended for ages 4-7. It has an ISBN of 978-1-4549-1904-9

Fun Picture Book with Friendship and Care for An Animal

There's an elephant in the house!
There's an elephant in the house!
Ella helps with the baby brother.
Ella helps with the baby brother.

Get Acquainted with the Author and Illustrator

Linda Ashman is a talented author with more than 30 picture books for children to her credit. Her picture books have been included on a "best of the year" list in the New York Times, Parenting and Child Magazines, and the New York Public Library. You may learn more about Ashman by visiting her website at

Sara Sanchez contributed her talents as an illustrator for Ashman's Ella Who?. She contributes illustrations for children's books in Spain, and also has an art studio in Madrid. You may learn more about her work by visiting her website at

Illustrations by Sara Sanchez Add to Ella's Adventures

Fun activities with the little girl are the start of a new friendship
Fun activities with the little girl are the start of a new friendship
A man delivers flyers to find the missing baby elephant
A man delivers flyers to find the missing baby elephant

Young Children, Friendship with Animals, and Care for Wild Animals in a Sanctuary

A healthy respect for all animals begins at an early age. Interactions with both pets and wild animals provide the opportunity for children to learn empathy for all creatures. Care for animals also serves as a productive activity to lower anxiety in children. Children's interactions with animals also set the foundation for the child's future relationships with animals

Young children often give human characteristics to animals. The little girl in Ella Who? demonstrates this as she begins a new friendship with Ella, the baby elephant. They dress up, read books together, and have a tea party. Storybooks like Ella Who? provide parents and teachers the opportunity point out the differences between people and animals. Differences between animals that serve as pets and wild elephants like the baby elephant can be observed. It is important for children to see that wild animals do not belong in a house.

The little girl in Ella Who? realized that the baby elephant missed her mom and wanted to go outside again. Empathy for the baby elephant was demonstrated.

There are opportunities around the country for families to visit wild animal sanctuaries. Some provide access for feeding the animals. Most wild animal sanctuaries have education centers that offer exhibits and hands-on learning activities for children to participate in for learning how to care for these wild animals who live in a sanctuary. Children can learn about the natural habitats that provide homes for these animals. Children are often excited to locate the natural habitats on a globe. Children might enjoy making a list of wild animals that they would like to have as a pet with ideas about interactive activities as an activity that sparks imagination.

Ella, the Baby Elephant is Returned to the Sanctuary

Teaching Young Children to Respect All Creatures

How are you teaching your children to respect all animals?

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    • chewtt2 profile image

      Cindy Hewitt 10 months ago from Sarasota

      Thanks, Jill Spencer. Please share on your social media if you can. I write for two major publishing companies. I get some great books.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image

      Jill Spencer 10 months ago from United States

      I'm an adult, of course, but I love children's books. Thanks for these spotlights. They're lots of fun to read.


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