Another book that made me tear up is The World’s Loneliest Elephant: Based on the True Story of Kaavan and His Rescue by Ralph Fletcher. This is a story about Kaavan, the elephant that was taken from a sanctuary, given as a gift to a young girl, but lived in the Pakistani zoo for years. Of course, at the time the conditions were beyond horrific. To the point that when finally animal activist Dr. Amir Khalil organized the elephants rescue, it was almost unable to be socialized with others. We see how the lost of his one companion Saheli devastated Kaavan’s health. We see how people like Cher (yes, that Cher) and the world got involved. If you have a hashtag, you’ve made it in this day and age, and there were hashtags. And fundraising efforts were undertaken for relocation to the Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary.
It is Naoko Stoop’s illustrations that really make the story. They are wonderfully detailed and busy, without being overwhelming. There is much to see within them, and they are softly presented, but still bold, colorful, and strong. They are images that express the place and time (there is a scene where people are wearing masks, so obviously this book was set within the last few years).
The teary part of the story is it is just emotional, and if you are in any form of being a little emotional to start with, this book will send you over. It is, therefore, not just a neat story, but a powerful one, too. And since it is based on a true story, you and your child, grandchild, niece/nephew, or students can learn more about the real Kaavan.