Have You Seen Elephant? by David Barrow – Book Review

The front and back cover of Have You Seen Elephant? by David Barrow.
Have You Seen Elephant? by David Barrow

We just adore ‘Have You Seen Elephant?’ Perfectly ridiculous and utterly beautiful, it’s the charmingly silly tale of a boy playing hide and seek with an elephant. ‘I must warn you though, ’ says Elephant at the beginning of the book, ‘I’m VERY good.’

Have you Seen Elephant? by David Barrow

A page from 'Have You Seen Elephant' by David Barrow, where an Elephant is asking a boy to play hide and seek.
An Elephant who wants to play hide & seek? Nothing unusual about that!

And so it turns out, as in page after page of gorgeous, sunset-shaded artwork, the little boy fails to spot Elephant in any of his brilliantly bonkers hiding places. My children shriek with glee and point out that Elephant is under the bed (lifting the bed in the air in the process), or making a distinctly large and elephant shape behind the curtains.

A page from 'Have You Seen Elephant' by David Barrow, where the elephant is hiding, very obviously, behind a pair of curtains.
My kids have also used this hiding place – just as effectively too!

The absurdity is perfectly pitched to tickle children’s funny bones while nudging an elbow in their parents’ ribs too. There is the page where Dad is too busy watching the football to notice that an Elephant is holding his television, which prompted a knowing nod or two.

A page from 'Have You Seen Elephant' by David Barrow, showing Elephant holding a TV, yet not seen by a boy and his dad.
I love the little details like the dog who is the only one to see Elephant.

Then there is one of my favourite pages, where Elephant is sat, perfectly still, behind a very thin tree trunk. Every illustration is so beautiful, I’d happily have them up on my walls.

A page from 'Have you seen Elephant' by David Barrow, showing Elephant hiding behind a very thin tree while a boy looks for him.
I love the expression on Elephant’s face!

By the end of the book the little boy has given up – Elephant is just too good at hiding. With a tickle of his trunk, Elephant finally reveals himself and the game is done. But not to worry, playtime can continue as Tortoise wants to play tag with them both. Fair warning though, he’s VERY good…

The headband says it all…

By the same author:

David Barrow teamed up with author Elli Wollard to produce this equally delightful book

The children's picture book 'Troll Stroll' by Elli Woollard and David Barrow

Troll Stroll

by Elli Woollard and David Barrow


Picture Books with Diverse Characters

Have you seen my full list of the best 23 picture books with diverse characters? Just like Have You Seen Elephant, all of these picture books feature black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) boys as main characters. Something that’s as rare as proverbial hen’s teeth in children’s books, and a problem I’ve written about here.

Check out the list to find out more about our favourites, and take a peek inside. If you like the look of Windows, I’m sure you’ll find some others to love there too!

Pile of 23 picture books that star a BAME boy as the main character.
Our top 23 picture books that feature a BAME boy as the main character. All of them are great reads that any kid will love!
Have You Seen Elephant by David Barrow. Take a peek inside with our book review! This fabulous book is a wonderful read and is also one of our top 23 picture books that feature a BAME boy hero…
A pile of children's picture books featuring ethnically diverse boy main characters.
The best picture books for children that star BAME boy characters.

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