Dream the Big Elephant
by Cynthia Moody
Trafford Publishing

"Papoose, I understand that you want the elephant, but this animal is too big to bring home."

Telling the story of the Native American boy Papoose and his grandmother, this book teaches children a valuable lesson about setting attainable goals and having realistic expectations. When Papoose goes to the zoo with his grandmother, he falls in love with an elephant and pleads with her to let him take the animal home. Papoose's grandmother patiently explains that elephants aren't meant to be kept as pets, but encourages him to follow his dreams regardless. That night, Papoose dreams that he owns the elephant after all, and when he wakes up he tells his grandmother he still wants one as a pet. She tells Papoose to always dream big and follow those dreams, even if he can not have an elephant, and he takes the lesson to heart, thinking about what he wants to be when he grows older.

Dream the Big Elephant teaches an important moral to children about keeping their imagination active but their feet planted firmly on the ground. Nearly every page of the book has a picture showing children the action taking place on the page, including the silly events of Papoose's dream with the elephant. The last few pages in particular serve as a good springboard to transition from the book's morals into a practical discussion with a child about what they want out of life and what they might need to do to get it. Cynthia Moody's fable is a good way to spend time reading to a child and making sure that they develop both their sense of wonder and their sense of reality.

Return to USR Home