Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

The Slightly Annoying Elephant

Walliams, David (Author)
Ross, Tony (Illustrator)
HarperCollins 2013. 32 pages
First published: 2013
ISBN: 9780007493999 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character, dialogue, structures and features

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

Sam opens the door to a big, blue, bossy elephant, which he has apparently adopted from the zoo. The elephant, of course, is quick to tell him what a “Silly boy” he is for not expecting him. Not only that, the obnoxious elephant has an entire list of demands, starting with a bath, food and TV. Things go from bad to worse as the elephant wreaks havoc on the household. Will Sam take back control of the house?

Unfamiliar words (“ginormous,” “antiques,” “rummage”) offer readers new vocabulary in a humorous context. The peppering of "Silly boy" throughout the simple text calls out for reader participation.

Playful typeface helps readers distinguish between the two characters’ voices: the destructive elephant’s words are in bold, exaggerated font; Sam’s in smaller, regular font. Bright illustrations, loaded with visual gags, capture the animal’s largesse—a flooded bathroom as he bathes in the tub, huge feet stuffed into a pair of slippers, the need for two whole seats on the plane. The final straw is a massive herd of elephants at the door, wishing to crash the party.

This lively and lighthearted story doubles as a cautionary tale for adults about never signing without reading the fine print.

  •  Based on the title and cover illustration, make predictions about what might happen in the story. Reflect on your predictions as you read.
  •  Discuss the text features such as font size and style, speech bubbles and multiple panels on a page. What information is conveyed with these features?
  •  

    Choral read the dialogue using appropriate volume and expression.

  •  

    Think up a new title and design an appropriate cover to go with it.

  •  Based on the title and cover illustration, make predictions about what might happen in the story. Reflect on your predictions as you read.
  •  

    Choral read the dialogue using appropriate volume and expression.

  •  Discuss the text features such as font size and style, speech bubbles and multiple panels on a page. What information is conveyed with these features?
  •  

    Read a non-fiction book about elephants. Compare the demands of the annoying elephant to the needs of a real one. Share your findings in a graphic organizer.

  •  

    Examine the copy of Sam’s contract. Discuss the meaning of a signature on a contract and of the small print.

  • To cooperate with others
  • To use creativity
  • Citizenship and Community Life