As we approach the first anniversary of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, we reflect on a heart-warming tale of courage and survival that emerged from the destruction.
'The Day of the Elephant' is set in Thailand and is based on reports of amazing incidents involving animals and birds that occurred during the tsunami that hit the coastlines of Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India and the Maldives on Boxing Day 2004.
The story is centred on one special elephant, Mae Jabu, who is coming to visit a small village to entertain the children who live there. The village children are particularly excited about Mae Jabu's visit as they love elephants and are hoping that she will dance for them.
As Mae Jabu approaches the village she appears restless and bellows loudly. Her Keeper is concerned by her unusual behaviour, and as Mae Jabu is led to a grassy clearing the children become aware that something very odd is occurring down on the shoreline. Mae Jabu gently lifts some of the smallest children on to her back and then heads for the safety of the higher ground, with the keeper and the older children running anxiously beside her.
The gigantic wave rolls in but the children have been saved by Mae Jabu, whose 'sixth sense' anticipated the disaster.
Vibrant illustrations and powerful text will see this book become a classic, a reminder of a miracle of survival in a terrible time.
Royalties from the sale of this book will be donated by the author, illustrator and publisher to assist the Asian tsunami aid effort.
Publisher: Harper & Collins
Author: Barbara Kerr Wilson
Illustrator: Frane Lessac