Wednesday, April 3, 2013

30 Books of Kindness Day 3: The Saggy Baggy Elephant

Book 3 for 30 books of kindness goes to: The Saggy Baggy Elephant, written by K. & B. Jackson and illustrated by Tenggren.

The Saggy Baggy Elephant is a story about Sooki, a happy little elephant, that finds himself uncomfortable in his own skin when a busybody parrot starts making fun of his wrinkles. The story takes Sooki on an adventure where he tries to change himself using suggestions from the parrot. He eventually finds out he is perfect just the way he is after some great gray elephants come to his rescue.

Now you may asking yourself why I would choose this book for my 30 books of kindness? I must admit, I have my misgivings, from a grown-ups perspective, about The Saggy Baggy Elephant. My nerdy complaint would be that tigers and lions do not inhabit the same areas. So, little Sooki would have never come across a lion and a tiger on the same trip around his neighborhood, as he does in this book. My philosophical complaint would be that Sooki did not feel comfortable in his own skin until he was around other elephants that looked just like him. So much for diversity!  But, I had to choose this book for my list because Miss M loves it. There are a select number of books that she picks over and over to read before bed, and this is one of them.

While I am lying there in bed next to her, psychoanalyzing this book from 1947, she is just enjoying it for what it is- a cute book. I asked her why she likes it so much, and her answer was simple. She told me that she just did. That is the funny thing about children's books. The best books will be read a bazillion times by weary parents that cannot understand what the fuss is all about, but the children will just get it.

Sooki was happy until some mean, busybody parrot brought him down. He had to figure out how to be OK with the skin he was in. It is simple playground politics. Kindness doesn't have to be complicated or new. Kindness can be taught from this old story for a completely new generation.  

While doing research about the book I found:

They made the book into a song. This is the kind of song I imagine my grandfather would have played in his Buick for us years ago when we were little.

If I could sew, I would buy this fabric panel and make a fabric book of The Saggy Baggy Elephant. Little Miss J loves fabric books.

And look at this ridiculously cute dress made out of Saggy Baggy Elephant fabric from Etsy.

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