After much random observation, I’ve come to the entirely unscientific conclusion that elephants are the current stars of kidlit. Some recent books that fit the pattern:
Chained by Lynne Kelly: on my to-read list. Featuring a sad elephant, an evil elephant owner and a kid caught in the middle.
Tua and the Elephant by R. P. Harris: a girl and a fugitive elephant navigate Thailand’s night market.
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate: although Ivan the gorilla steals the show, there would be no plot without the elephants.
Grandpa Green by Lane Smith: offers elephants of the green, vegetated variety.
The Elephant Scientist by Caitlin O’Connell and Donna M. Jackson: what it’s like to study elephants for a living.
Small as an Elephant by Jennifer Richard Jacobson: elephants aren’t small. I’m confused (obviously I need to read this book).
The Magician’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo: funnier and better than The Magician’s Nephew.
And of course, we’re treated to a steady diet of elephant tales through Mo Willems. Gerald and Piggie: perpetuating beloved children’s book creatures since 2007. (Not to mention the pigeon series, which is doing what Gay-Neck, The Story of a Pigeon never could for popularizing urban scavengers).