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  • Published: 4 May 2021
  • ISBN: 9780143775645
  • Imprint: Picture Puffin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 32
  • RRP: $19.99

My Elephant Is Blue



A sweet and quirky story about a child who is stuck carrying around an elephant, wondering if they will ever feel light and free again . . .

A story full of humour and heart about having the blues, in the form of a big heavy elephant.

One day an elephant came and sat on my chest.
I found it hard to get up or move around, to breathe or talk.

“I’m Blue,” the elephant said.
“Can you please move, Blue?” I asked.
“I don’t want to move. This is a good spot for me to sit.”

“You’re crushing me,” I said.
“Yet I find you very comfortable,” said Blue.

Mum read every book about elephants she could get her hands on, while Dad phoned an elephant specialist someone recommended. They all tried pushing, and pulling, and persuading. But would anyone — or anything — be able to shift Blue?

Warm, empathetic, hopeful and often funny, with the ability to be read on different levels, My Elephant is Blue is the perfect story to help children explore and understand the experience of living under the weight of a big sadness.

  • Published: 4 May 2021
  • ISBN: 9780143775645
  • Imprint: Picture Puffin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 32
  • RRP: $19.99

About the authors

Melinda Szymanik

Born when the Beatles were big, Melinda’s early ambitions to be a pirate and a time traveller didn’t pan out. She decided she would write these careers into stories instead, and set about becoming an author. Writing is a long apprenticeship, however, and it wasn’t until 2002 that she had her first story accepted for publication. Melinda describes the author’s life as rather like traversing the Himalayas. Reaching the top is only ever a brief experience before one must head on down the other side again and onto attempting the next mountain.
Melinda writes picture books, short stories and novels for children and young adults. She has been a finalist for a number of awards, and five of her titles are Storylines Notable Books. Her picture book, The Were-Nana, won the New Zealand Post Children’s Choice Award in 2009, and was shortlisted for the 2010 Sakura Medal. Her novel, A Winter's Day in 1939, won Librarian's Choice at the 2014 LIANZA Awards and her picture book Fuzzy Doodle, was a 2017 White Raven Selection.
She lives in Auckland with her family, and loves watching movies, eating out with her favourite people, and travelling abroad when the stars are aligned. She strongly believes that you can never have too many books, and you can never be too kind.

Vasanti Unka

Vasanti Unka is an award-winning writer, designer and illustrator noted for the originality of her storytelling, her riotously colourful and inventive illustrations and the gorgeous design and production of her picture books.

Vasanti is the illustrator of Hill & Hole by Kyle Mewburn, which was shortlisted for the Best Picture Book award at the 2011 New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. Hill & Hole won the LIANZA Russell Clark Award the same year and was also the first children's book to win the Gerard Reid Award for Best Book at the PANZ Book Design Awards.

The Boring Book (Puffin 2013), which Vasanti wrote, illustrated and designed, was named the 2014 New Zealand Post Margaret Mahy Book of the Year and also took out the Best Picture Book Award category. The judges described it as 'a remarkable book that exceeds any expectations of its genre. It exhibits the highest quality of design and its presentation is thoroughly original. The story takes delightful unexpected turns that charm afresh with each reading. Small children and older readers alike will be delighted by its subversive touches and entertained by its warmth and fun.' It also won international acclaim with its inclusion in the 2014 White Ravens Catalogue and in 2016 was named an IBBY Honour Book for the excellence of its illustrations.

Stripes! No, Spots!, published by Puffin in 2015 and described by poet Paula Green as 'scrumptious in every way', was lauded as a 2016 Storylines Notable Picture Book and was simultaneously published in the UK and US.

Who Stole the Rainbow?, a humorous mystery thriller for children about why rainbows appear and disappear, was published in 2018. It was a finalist for the Best Picture Book category of the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults 2019.

Vasanti lives in Auckland, New Zealand, where she juggles creative work and numerous book projects.

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