Book Reviews

Thank you to Kids Books ReviewThe Bottom Shelf and Tell Tales To Me for their lovely reviews of Ella.

Kids Book Review

Review by Jo Burnell
Kids Book Review - Ella review


Ella dreams of finding her mother and of having a full stomach. With only one friend in the world, Ella she manages to escape. Her journey is fraught but it is worth hanging in for the upswing. Although young children will find the ending a satisfying relief, adults will dwell on the deeper truth that not all elephants are as lucky as Ella.

Ella is an important pioneer tale for young children, who are never too young to become champions for justice. I hope Nicole continues her crusade with many more irresistible books to join Ella on our bookshelves.

Read the full review here.


Review by Barbara Braxton


Written to give a voice to elephants and all other creatures held captive for the tourism market, this is a touching story that tugs at the heartstrings as the reader is given an insight into what really happens behind the scenes of what seems like an innocuous activity. Despite the charming illustrations that suggest a story for the very young, the front cover gives a clue that this is not a happy, sweetness-and-light story and despite its uplifting ending readers are bound to have questions they want answered.  Some of these are provided on the final pages of the book while  others might need some research.  

Along with Elizabeth Stanley’s The Deliverance of Dancing Bears  and Katherine Applegate’s The One and Only Ivan  it would make an ideal springboard into the use and treatment of animals as tourist attractions and spark a lot of debate about the ethical issues and changing attitudes towards animals in captivity.

Thought-provoking and worthy of a place on the library’s shelves. 

Read the full review here.


Review by Brook Tayla
Tell tales to me book review - Ella by Nicole Godwin and Demelsa Haughton


It is a brave journey that presents the truth. Children want to know the truth and as adults we have a responsibility of care to teach facts in an open and accurate way, ensuring that we are contributing to empathetic and compassionate future generations. Of course, we don’t want to frighten children, and that is a tender balance that Nicole Godwin masters with her words and Demelsa Haughton supports with her beautiful illustrations.

I recommend that every household, pre-school, kindergarten and primary school keep a copy of this serious but beautifully told story on their shelves.

Read the full review here.


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