An Elephant in the Garden

An Elephant in the Garden

Book - 2011
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Lizzie and Karl's mother, Mutti, working at a local zoo in Dresden, Germany, during World War II while their father is away fighting in France, brings home Marlene, a baby elephant that is slated to be destroyed as the Allied bombing grows closer, and when they are forced to flee, Mutti feels they must take Marlene with them, adding even more danger to their journey.
Publisher: New York : Feiwel and Friends, 2011.
Edition: 1st U.S. ed.
ISBN: 9780312593698
Branch Call Number: J FICTION MORPURGO
Characteristics: 199 p. ; 22 cm.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Jan 04, 2021

A REALLY good book!!!!

IndyPL_SteveB Nov 26, 2018

A fine WWII novel for children, but will be enjoyed by any lover of history and elephants. Set in Dresden, Germany in 1945. Lizzie and Karl’s mother works with the elephants at the Dresden Zoo. Their father is, reluctantly, a soldier on the Russian front. Since Dresden is a major industrial hub and one of the last German cities not targeted by Allies bombs, everyone assumes an attack will come. To prevent dangerous animals wandering the streets if the zoo is hit by bombs, the Director has ordered that, in case of a bombing, all of the large animals must be destroyed. The mother begins bringing a young elephant home to their garden at night to give her a chance to be saved. When the bombing begins, the family flees with the elephant across Germany, hoping to find a safe place.

A great book for reminding children that, for most people on BOTH sides, war is not about glory or strategy. It is about survival, family, and “putting one foot in front of the other.”

MsCourtney Feb 18, 2017

An unexpected story about war.

Sep 11, 2015

Young adult historical fiction based loosely on a real elephant from a Belfast zoo during WW2. Interesting story told in a simplistic way. Picked it up because I am intrigued by elephants. Easy to read in a day.

SpringAltman Jul 21, 2014

A young family, a RAF Candian flyer, a youth choir and an elephant flee Dresden, Germany during WW2

Jan 30, 2012

good book teacher read it to the class

MissAnnie Oct 13, 2010

For those children having to read a book on War for their Remembrance Day projects, this makes a great selection. The story is set in Germany at the time of the Dresden bombing, but avoids any long violent descriptions. Instead we learn how one family was able to make it through this experience. And, there really is an elephant that goes along on the long trek to safety.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at ALCO

To Top