Stand back! I’m going to sneeze! Those children of mine – those cute little kiddos who sit on the library rug every Tuesday – gave me a special gift for Thanksgiving. Cold germs! So on Thanksgiving Day I wasn’t at the top of my game. There was no clever repartee from this girl, and my appetite just wasn’t there for all that yummy food. Oh, pshaw!
Seeing the expressions on family faces as I was about to sneeze was priceless. It brought back fond memories of a book that was a family favorite. “Stand Back,” Said The Elephant, “I’m Going To Sneeze!” *
The original version, as seen above, was published in 1971. This entertaining book was written by Patricia Thomas and illustrated by Wallace Tripp. The rhyming text flows easily, and humor abounds as the water buffalo, monkeys, parrot, bees, bear, crocodile, and a bevy of other animals politely ask the elephant not to sneeze. As the animals run for cover to escape the aftermath of the sneeze, a little gray mouse scares the elephant — eek — and stops the sneeze. When the elephant realizes the mouse doesn’t want to hurt him, the pachyderm has a shivering, shaking, quivering, quaking laugh that causes chaos among the animals. Tripp’s illustrations, done in black and white with shades of yellow and green, provide humor for everyone.
This past Tuesday my sneezes were animated and real as I shared this classic story with my students. This book is nothing to sneeze at!
*This is the 1990 full-color version of the book.