in the shadow of an elephant

Lualani the elephant has lost her parents.

One terrible night the ground rumbled, and dark shapes appeared in the distance. A cracking sound tore through the air.

Lualani’s life was changed forever.

Dealing with loss and grief

Sad and alone, Lualani puts her trust in a boy, Jabari, and a special friendship forms.

Celebrating life

Jabari earns Lualani’s trust and with that her love, warmth and playfulness. The two run, jump, dance and play

elephant and boy playing


When Jabari loses his papa, Lualani returns the love, warmth and feeling to Jabari. The two develop a special bond that lasts a lifetime.

As Jabari ages and reflects on his time on earth, he recalls with fondness running, jumping, playing ball and dancing in the shadow of an elephant.

This book had me at Elephants. There’s just something so magical about them. And, despite their size, there’s a vulnerability about them, made worse when confronted with poaching and human greed.

The illustrations are particularly moving. Sandra Severgnini perfectly captures the emotions of the characters. It’s hard not to be moved by this book. The words and pictures work effortlessly to create a stirring tale that made me reflect on life, my mortality, the fragility of life, but also what true friendship means.

Life is full of happiness and sadness – In the shadow of an elephant is an ideal look at the cycle of life, coping with death, and importantly, the celebration of life.

Details and Achievements

Finalist in the International Book Awards and appears on the NSW Premier’s Reading List.

International book awards

Title: In the Shadow of an Elephant

Author: Georgie Donaghey

Illustrator: Sandra Servergnini

Publisher: Little Pink Dog Books, 2019

little pink dog - tacos review

Little Pink Dog Books is an Australian based independent publisher specialising in picture story books for children.

Little Pink Dog Books are working with a number of new and emerging authors and illustrators to provide them with publishing opportunities to create high quality children’s picture books.

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