“In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: It Goes On.”
Robert Frost

Monday, December 8, 2014

Christmas Elephants

Many animals come to mind when thinking about Christmas, but usually not Elephants! Sure we think about the Christmas story and the donkey Mary rode to Bethlehem on.  We remember the sheep, camels and other animals around the stable that complete our own Nativity scenes. They even have their own song for goodness sake!

Then there is Santa and those reindeer and the one with the red nose, Rudy! Again, his own song!  There are Christmas stories about cats, dogs, a kangaroo and even a hippopotamus (also has a song)! No where have I seen a book about an Elephant and his Christmas, until now. This guy doesn't even have a name, he's just called Little Elephant and this is his Christmas story!

The images are from a charming book entitled "Little Elephant's Christmas", written by Heluiz Washburne and illustrated by Jean McConnell. This is from an original 1944 Edition published by Albert Whitman and Company. Little Elephant helps his family prepare for Christmas by baking, decorating the tree and opening gifts!

Little Elephant was all excited.  In a few days it would be Christmas.

I picked up this book last year and it sold the other day. The book was in somewhat poor condition, but it was still holding together and I just couldn't tear it apart to sell the individual pages, even though I would have probably easily quadrupled my money!  I will leave that up to the party that purchased the book, maybe they will take out some of the pages and frame them. It really was a delightful thing to see.  I want to share a few of my favorite images from the book.

Little Elephant Wraps a Present.

Little Elephant was so excited because in a few days it would be Christmas! The postman had been delivering presents and Little Elephant could hardly wait to open them.  He spent some time helping his mother make the plum pudding and then he decorated the tree.  He also wrapped presents for Grandpa and Grandma Elephant.

Little Elephant Decorates the Tree.

Little Elephant Hangs His Stocking.

Finally Christmas morning arrives and Little Elephant gets to open his presents! His favorites are a horn! Which I think is pretty funny, considering elephants already make trumpeting noises! He also receives a wrist watch, because Elephants want to be on time!

Little Elephant Toots His Horn!

Little Elephant Admires His New Watch!

Father and Mother Elephant open their gifts too! Father received a painting set so he could paint his tusks!

Father Elephant Painting His Tusks!

Mother Elephant (below) wearing her present, the lace collar! Little Elephant not a fan of his vegetable soup!

Mother Elephant and Little Elephant Eating Christmas Dinner.

After all the decorating, wrapping and then opening presents, they all settle down for a lovely Christmas dinner of green veggie soup and something with drumsticks? Didn't know elephants ate that sort of think, but who knew they also decorated Christmas trees and hung stockings?

As often happens with a huge celebratory meal, Little Elephant was stuffed! He had to get up and run around the table a few times to settle his meal so he had room for the plum pudding that Mother Elephant had prepared. Kind of sounds familiar doesn't it?

After celebrating with his parents and with Grandma and Grandpa Elephant, Little elephant was pretty tired and as with most kids, he kept his favorite Christmas gifts close that night.

I hope you enjoyed this time with Little Elephant.  I'd love to hear your thoughts and observations about the art, the book etc.  Do you remember your favorite holiday gift?

Let's all have a Holly Jolly week!
~~ Diane ~~


  1. Hello Diane, you always share the most delightful posts and love music, and this one is no exception!!! :)

  2. So cute! The art is sweet and full of personality. And also, I love the song "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas!"

  3. How adorable! And why shouldn't an elephant be in on the action? They are such beautiful animals. This artwork in this story is wonderful. And I can't believe what great condition the book is in.

  4. What a delightful story, Diane. I love children's books the most. Do you remember
    The Little Golden Books? I picked up a few for Jess because she teaches second grade. I hope you are enjoying this special Christmas season.


  5. Oh, your Christmas Header is so whimsical and pretty. :~)

  6. Such a well written post and the incorporation of the beautiful illustrations just make this post POP!, admirable. I just love vintage childrens's books. The artwork and stories are truly something of the past. Lovely.

  7. That is so adorable!! Good for you for not taking it apart - I wouldn't have the heart to, either.

    Maybe the bones were from their tofurky ;)

  8. Adorable! Christmas needs more elephants!

    Have a great day.

  9. Dear Diane - have never seen this book but how original an elephant Christmas story. The illustrations are wonderful. I especially loved the one where he was decorating the tree. Hope you are enjoying the Christmas season as well. Hugs!

  10. This is so cute Diane! I love Little Elephant! I love the illustrations! They are adorable! Made me smile ;o) I love the gifts! His face was so cute with the soup! LOL! I don't know what my favourite gift was? I remember, mom always getting me new undies and a set of the tiny perfumes for Christmas. Of course, I loved going through my stalking too ;o) And, there was my barbie camper! LOL! I love everything ;o) LOL! I have to write you back! I hope your hubby is ok ;o) Hugs ;o)

  11. Now that is adorable, and unique, which makes it even more special. I love the illustration of him with the gifts.

    Favorite Holiday Gift: Probably any baby dolls. Madame Alexander dolls, or the dollhouse my mother had my grandfather make for me. I was a VERY girly-girl when I was young. We had fantastic Christmases growing up. My mother never really had nice Christmases as a child, so with her own kids she went pretty crazy with the gifts at Christmas. Christmas mornings were definitely magical to me as a child.

  12. What an adorable, beautiful book! I don't think i'd have been able to part with it! Just so cute, and what a great story. And you're right. This is the first elephant Christmas story i've ever seen.

  13. Dear Diane, I’m not at all surprised this little book sold, it’s gorgeous. I love the picture of the little elephant with his nice grey woolly trunk-warmer. How cute is that? It made me laugh when I noticed the duck wallpaper (in the same picture) I don’t know who the illustrator was but he/she certainly had a sense of humour.


Thank you for leaving a comment! I do read them all and will try to respond if I'm able. Please know that all comments are appreciated, I love to hear your thoughts on my posts! ~ Diane