The World's Loneliest Elephant: Based on the True Story of Kaavan and His Rescue (Hardcover)

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The World's Loneliest Elephant: Based on the True Story of Kaavan and His Rescue By Ralph Fletcher, Naoko Stoop (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Ralph Fletcher, Naoko Stoop (Illustrator)
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(Picture Book Hardcover)

Staff Reviews

This wonderful children's book is based on the true story of the elephant Kaavan and his rescue from an abusive zoo. Kaavan was brought to a zoo as a baby to be a gift for the daughter of the president of Pakistan. He lived mostly chained up with no trees or shade, and was heartbroken after his mate died. While this story may be hard to share, it is so important to teach children and adults alike about the way animals deserve to be treated. The beauty of this book is in learning about all of the people who did something to help Kaavan, whether it was signing a petition, shutting down the zoo, or helping Kaavan to a wildlife sanctuary. This story shows that every little bit helps, and anyone can work to make the world a better place for all living things. This book highlights the importance of connection, family, and empathy, and is a wonderful way to start educating at home. 



— From Nocturnal November Staff Picks


A heartwarming true story about Kaavan the elephant, his unlikely bond with singer and activist Cher, his rescue by veterinarian and animal rights crusader Dr. Amir Khalil, and relocation to the Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary.

Kaavan grew up in captivity in a Pakistani zoo. For years, he lived in poor conditions with only one friend, an elephant named Saheli. After Saheli died, Kaavan was overcome by grief and his health worsened. When animal rights activists around the world were alerted to Kaavan’s deteriorating condition, Dr. Amir Khalil visited the elephant to see what could be done.

​Thanks to the virality of Kaavan’s story—and with the publicity and fundraising efforts of pop culture icon Cher—Dr. Khalil was able to orchestrate moving Kaavan to the Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary, where he now lives with other elephants. Because of the care and help of so many, Kaavan is no longer the world’s loneliest elephant. And that is the best news of all.

About the Author

Ralph Fletcher is the author of a wide range of books for young readers, from picture books (The Sandman) to novels (Fig Pudding), from memoirs (Marshfield Dreams) to writing advice (Guy-Write). He also teaches workshops on poetry and writing. Mr. Fletcher lives with his family in Lee, New Hampshire.

Naoko Stoop's love of drawing began when she was a young girl growing up in Japan. She now lives and paints in Brooklyn, New York, using found materials like plywood and brown paper bags as her canvases. The author-illustrator of Red Knit Cap Girl and Sing With Me! Action Songs Every Child Should Know​, Naoko hopes her art will inspire the child within everyone. Follow Naoko on Instagram @naokostoop and Twitter @naokosstoop.

Praise For…

Praise for The World's Loneliest Elephant:

"Beautifully told.... The illustrations—gouache and acrylic on wood—feature bands of grain below the painted surface that give a hazy beauty to the pages and a remarkable amount of texture to Kaavan’s skin.... Sad, sublime, and surely something special."—Kirkus Reviews

"A simply told, true story with great child appeal."

"We are very happy this book will share Kaavan’s story with young readers who now have the chance to learn more about this magnificent and forgiving elephant."—Saengduean "Lek" Chailert, Founder of Elephant Nature Park and Co-Founder of Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary
Product Details
ISBN: 9780316364591
ISBN-10: 0316364592
Publisher: Christy Ottaviano Books
Publication Date: October 18th, 2022
Pages: 40
Language: English