Project Description

Little Elephant Thunderfoot

by Sally Grindley
illustrated by John Butler

Enjoy this touching, realistic look at elephant life from an acclaimed author and illustrator team.

Little Elephant Thunderfoot is only twenty minutes old when he stands up to nurse for the first time. Soon he begins to learn much more about life on the African savannah. His grandmother, Wise Old One, is his teacher and also leader of the herd. One day, however, two loud bangs echo over the landscape and Wise Old One falls to the ground. Now Little Elephant Thunderfoot, his family, and the rest of the herd must learn how to live without their leader and teacher.

Sally Grindley’s straightforward, simple text presents a factually accurate picture of elephant life on the African savannah. John Butler’s full-color illustrations contribute to the stunning realism of this picture book. Young readers will be captivated by this moving account of everyday elephant life.

This book is out of print

Format: Hardcover
Price: $15.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-180-7
Publication Date: 3/1/1998
Page Count: 32
Size: 10-3/8″ x 9-3/8″
Age Range: 4 – 8
Language: English

AR Level: 4.0
F&P: GRL O, Gr 3, Genre RF
Themes: Animal Families, Elephants, Poaching


“Set in the savannas of Africa, this touching story tells of a baby elephant’s early life and relationship with his grandmother, the head of the herd…. Heartwarming, earth tone illustrations complement the story…. The double-page spreads and attractive layout make this title a good choice for group sharing. It’s also a fine book to use to educate youngsters about poachers and elephant behavior, or to instill respect for the animal kingdom and conservation.” ―School Library Journal

“The series of animal books by Sally Grindley and John Butler is one of the finest I’ve ever seen! The stories are not only wonderfully written, but are also technically accurate in their descriptions of daily life in the animal world. The illustrations couldn’t be better” ―Jack Hanna, Director Emeritus of the Columbus Zoo, Host of “Jack Hanna’s Animal Adventures” TV series

“Sally Grindley and John Butler’s beautiful and moving stories will help inspire a new generation of careful stewards of our precious and fragile world.” ―Kathryn S. Fuller, President and CEO, World Wildlife Fund

“This is an excellent book to get your young ones started learning about wildlife in general and elephants in particular… John Butler’s exquisite artwork brings the characters to life and depicts the African landscape in realistic detail.” ―Blue Owl Reviews

Meet the Author

Sally Grindley is the author of numerous books for children. She lives in England. You can visit her website here.

Meet the Illustrator

John Butler has written more than a dozen books for children and illustrated over sixty. His books have been published in more than twenty countries and won awards such as the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Best Book Award, IRA Teachers’ Choice Awards, and Bank Street College of Education’s Best Children’s Books of the Year. He has had a long career in illustration, working for a very wide range of clients including Time magazine, “Sesame Street,” and the Sunday Times. He lives in England. You can visit his website here.