Queenie: One Elephant's Story
Written by Corinne Fenton
Illustrated by Peter Gouldthorpe
Candlewick Press, 2013. Unpaged. Non-fiction picture book.
In the early 1900s, a young female elephant was captured by hunters in India and shipped overseas to Melbourne, Australia. When she arrived at the Melbourne zoo, the keepers named her "Queenie," and she soon began her job as a zoo attraction giving children rides. Conditions in the zoo were not always ideal. Although children would give Queenie treats, some would stick her trunk with pins and tease her. Once, though, she got her revenge by spraying naughty boys with dirty bath water! Over the years, she came to be a major animal celebrity, and children from all over would visit her. Sadly, in her later years, Queenie was put to sleep after an unfortunate accident where she crushed her keeper.
This phenomenal story is honestly and respectfully written. Though it is sad, there is still a feeling that Queenie touched a lot of children's lives. Gouldthorpe's paintings are stunning, and they really transport the reader to another time.