Year 1 has enjoyed listening to The Slightly Annoying Elephant by David Walliams this week.
David Walliams is perhaps best known to our pupils through his middle reader books, including: Mr Stink, Billionaire Boy The Boy in the Dress, Gangsta Granny, Demon Dentist and Awful Auntie. We rarely see his books in our library because they are always on loan!
The younger children weren’t quite as familiar with David Walliams as our older pupils are, however (till I mentioned ‘Britain’s Got Talent’, which some of them knew about) but they were still happy to have a listen to the story, and this is how we got on!
What it’s about
Sam very kindly adopts an elephant via one of those postal adoption schemes you can do. He thinks, beyond receiving a few updates and photos, this will be the extent of his involvement, until – one day – there’s a knock at the door. Is it his Mum? A friend? The postman?
No. It was a massive elephant.
The story then details what life is like with an elephant in your house, even for a few hours, and the havoc it invariably wreaks. No food is enough, no bicycle is strong enough, and the animal’s house manners are beyond reproachable. What will Sam do?
What we thought of it
The children became very involved with the story, suggesting what would come next and talking about the elephant’s personality in particular. The general consensus was that the elephant was evil! Rather than merely bossy and rude. They had a lot of sympathy for Sam (who wouldn’t?) and they never saw the little twist at the end coming.
We had a lot of fun with the repeated expression ‘Silly boy!’. I started it off in a booming elephant voice (if there is such a thing – I think there might be) and another member of staff quickly shut the library door. It was probably a good thing as we all boomed it whenever it cropped up and they loved being severe and loud.
This is a great book to read aloud, and Tony Ross’ drawings are a joy as always. We will have to keep an eye out for the next one!