Book Review: The World’s Greatest Elephant

Monthly Book Reviews

The World’s Greatest Elephant by Ralph Helfer
From Miss Jennie at Ontario Branch

This is one of my favorite non-fiction books.  It is a touching story, beautifully illustrated, of a boy and an elephant and an amazing friendship that lasted a lifetime.  In a little town in Germany many years ago, a boy and an elephant were born on the same day, in the same hour.  The father, an animal trainer in a small circus, named them both and hoped that they would always be together.

The World’s Greatest Elephant

As the boy, Bram, and the elephant, Modoc, grew, they developed a bond of friendship like none other. Bram promised his friend that they would never be separated, no matter what happened.  Little did he know how difficult it would be to keep this promise.  The friends faced many incredible adventures as they tried to stay together.  The death of Bram’s father, shipwrecks, work camps, jail and fire could not keep Bram and Modoc apart.  It was only when the circus owner secretly sold Modoc, that they actually became separated.  Many years passed as Bram searched for his friend. Then one day, Bram, an old man now, happened upon a rancher who trained animals for motion pictures.  It was there that he and Modoc were finally reunited, spending the rest of their days together.

Here at the library, we have The World’s Greatest Elephant as well as a more in-depth, grown-up read, Modoc: The True Story of the Greatest Elephant That Ever Lived, also by Ralph Helfer.

More From the Web

  • Find author and animal trainer/behaviorist Ralph Helfer on Facebook!
  • Check out San Diego Zoo’s elephant page!
  • For more information about elephants, take a look at free downloadable curriculum from The Elephant Sanctuary. (Note: Adobe Reader is required for these documents.)
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