Cover image for Elympics
Kennedy, X. J.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York: Philomel Books, 1999.
Physical Description:
[unpaged], illustrations ; 28 cm
Elephants compete in a variety of sports, such as diving, triatholon, hammer throw, and figure skating.
Reading Level:
NP Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.3 0.5 43117.

Reading Counts RC K-2 2.2 2 Quiz: 21868 Guided reading level: O.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PZ8.3.K384 EL 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Childrens Area
PZ8.3.K384 EL 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
PZ8.3.K384 EL 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
PZ8.3.K384 EL 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Get ready for figure skating, diving, slalom racing, and more--elephant style! X. J. Kennedy's cast of spirited pachyderms compete for gold medals in the Elympics. This collection of fast-paced poetry will have you laughing and cheering as each new character strives in a different event. Some are as graceful as a bird. Other are as clumsy as a toad. Some crash land, but win by a nose. You never know what will happen when good-natured elephants throw their weight around and go for the gold medal.

Author Notes

Widely anthologized, Kennedy's poetry may not be as influential among contemporary poets as others' because of his preference for, in his words, "old-fangled structures most poets have junked these days." As Kennedy's comments on his verse suggest, his poetry is witty, concise, and unpretentious. His subject matter is drawn from the everyday including his Catholic background and middle-class suburban life. Yet his concerns can be profound including death, violence, suicide, and Genesis.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Ages 4^-8. Poet Kennedy imagines the Olympic games in a world of elephants. His fanciful verses focus on such tremendous competitors as Elijah the diver, Trinket the sprinter, and Tram the slalom champ. Readers who remember the sometimes biting wit of the Brats books will find Kennedy's humor gentler here, befitting the younger audience for this large-format, bountifully illustrated book. Each rhyming poem appears on its own double-page spread, illustrated with a large-scale picture featuring a single elephantine athlete. Deeply colored and beautifully shaded, the artwork appears to be done with heavily applied pastel crayons. The illustrations are notable for their simple, effective composition and child appeal. Librarians hard put to fill requests for preschool and primary-grade books on the Olympics will welcome this pleasant book of sports verse for young children. --Carolyn Phelan

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3 A fine collection of 13 short poems on various major events in both the Summer and Winter Olympics, illustrated with a wonderful team of elephant athletes. Basic facts about the games are included in a note at the back. The emphasis in the poems is on good sportsmanship, the value of practice and teamwork, trying your best and persevering, etc. Each selection merits a double-page watercolor-and-pencil illustration, that shows the competitors engaging in athletic endeavors with elephantine grace there are even elephant clouds looking down on the superstars. Sprinters, skiers, skaters, and gymnasts all have their moments of glory. The cover art shows the Olympic torch being lit in Greece, and the two sections (Summer and Winter) each begin with a picture of a runner taking the flame up the path to the stadium. A perfect introduction to the Games for the very young. Judith Constantinides, East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, LA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.