About the Author

Valerie Friedholm

Val Friedholm is a mother of four and co-founder of Elephant Books. Beginning with her eldest, her mother often asked what she should get for the kids. At the time, Val lived in a small Boston apartment where space was at a premium and the kids didn’t need more plastic toys, so she answered her mother’s question with “give them an experience.” Maintaining that the most special moments in life come from everyday activities like reading, Val knows first-hand the impact that books can have on kids. She loves that Elephant Books creates a fun experience where children can build their own personalized libraries and families can create memories, and as her kids grow older, Val hangs on to the moments her family spends reading together.

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Meet the Author: Ed Vere

Meet the Author: Ed Vere

Meet our June author of the Month, Ed Vere! Ed is a bestselling children’s author, illustrator, and artist. We enjoyed hearing about the inspiration behind his hilarious children’s book, Max and Bird, the intersection of drawing and writing in his creative process, and his advocacy for visual literacy. 

Meet the Author: Lena Podesta

Meet the Author: Lena Podesta

Meet animator, illustrator, and children’s author, Lena Podesta!  We’re excited to hear from the author of Too Crowded about her passion for art and her take on the current state of kids and reading. Learn more about the inspiration behind Lena’s hilarious children’s book, creative process, and thoughts on the magic of watching kids learn to read and love books

Meet the Author: Eric Telchin

Meet the Author: Eric Telchin

Eric Telchin’s book, The Color Factory, is interactive, vibrant, and fun. This month, we were delighted to speak with Eric about the inspiration for his books, learn more about his creative process, and hear what children’s books mean to him.

Meet the Author: Shelly Vaughan James

Meet the Author: Shelly Vaughan James

Shelly Vaughan James’ book is all about a curious flamingo with a big personality. We were eager to learn more about what inspired this vibrant read and the story behind Lola, the not-so-pink protagonist in Fussy Flamingo.

Meet the Author: DJ Corchin

Meet the Author: DJ Corchin

DJ Corchin’s picture book teaches young readers that even great ideas sometimes receive a NO–but that NO can actually help great ideas become the best ideas! This empowering book shows what amazing things happen when we work with others and don’t give up and is a great message these days for kids. We were excited to have the chance to interview DJ this month, get to know him and learn a little of the back story behind “A Thousand NO’s.” Perseverance and innovation are important topics; even for very young children. Through his wonderful book, he manages to tackle these concepts in a way that works for kids.

Meet the Author: Rob Hodgson

Meet the Author: Rob Hodgson

My Best Friend is a picture book preschoolers will want to read again and again. Its quirky and somewhat dark humor is unlike most other children’s books and the reason we fell in love with it. What’s not to like about Mouse telling everyone about his best friend, Giant Owl, who may or may not be trying to eat him! The illustrations are wonderful and tell a very different reality than the story we hear from Mouse about his best friend, Giant Owl. Whether the two “friends” are playing chase, eating donuts (fattening up!), or building a house (cage!), the story is unpredictable. The obviousness of Mouse to the true motives of Giant Owl, is touching. We hope you enjoy our interview with Rob Hodgson, an author/illustrator we should all keep our eyes on.

Meet the Author: Adam Wallace

Meet the Author: Adam Wallace

“How to Catch A Dinosaur” by Adam Wallace is a wonderful, rhyming tale about a little boy and his diverse group of friends as they try to win their science fair by catching a dinosaur. With bright illustrations, the story comes alive as the children set traps throughout the school. These traps get more and more elaborate as the story unfolds.

Meet the Author: Joshua George

Meet the Author: Joshua George

Everyone wants to feel special, right? Gerald is a little, orange fish that wants to be noticed in a school of lots of little orange fish. He is so fed up that one day he decides to set out all by himself across the perilous ocean. Find out what happens when he meets a colony of blue fish that have never seen anything like Gerald before! Joshua George’s wonderful and beautifully illustrated picture book, “Tiny Whale: A Fishy Tale” tackles some complex ideas like individuality, perseverance, leadership and respect at a level children can understand. It’s a book meant to be read and discussed together.

Meet the Author: Susanna Moores

Meet the Author: Susanna Moores

Blieka is a cute, floppy-eared bunny that just received a new present: A Big Red Ball! It goes everywhere with Blieka, but what happens when a friend asks to borrow it? The response, “It’s not yours, it’s MINE!” Does this sound familiar? Susanna Moores tackles the idea of sharing and friendship in her debut picture book, It’s Not Yours, It’s Mine!. As both the author and illustrator, Susanna is able to bring Blieka and his feelings to life. You can actually “see” how hard it is to share with her wonderful illustrations.

Books Celebrating Black Children

Books Celebrating Black Children

Black children— especially Black boys— have been underrepresented in and omitted from children’s books historically and today. We’ve compiled a list of children’s books by Black authors and illustrators that celebrate the perseverance, achievement, and empowerment of African Americans. These wonderful stories center Black narratives, affirm Black joy, and make great picks for young readers.

Children’s Books About Space

Children’s Books About Space

Reading is a great way to teach kids about the wonderful world around them, so what better way to introduce your child to everything beyond this world than with some awesome books about space? We’ve compiled a list of the best children’s books about space to teach your child about the solar system, astronomy, and space travel.

Meet the Author: Helen Docherty

Meet the Author: Helen Docherty

It’s a great find when you stumble across a book that MUST be read aloud to young children. We were so happy when “The Snatchabook” crossed our desk. Written by Helen Docherty, and illustrated by her husband, Thomas Docherty, “The Snatchabook”‘s rhyming text and beautiful watercolor characters is a must for your home library. It’s bedtime in Burrow Down and the woodland animals are ready for their bedtime story, but books are mysteriously disappearing. Wide-eyed, little bunny, Eliza Brown, decides to stay awake and catch the book thief herself. It turns out the books are being taken by a little creature called the Snatchabook who has no one to read him a bedtime story. There’s a happy ending to this sweet tale which is all about books and the joy of reading!

The Best Inscriptions for Holiday Book Gifts

The Best Inscriptions for Holiday Book Gifts

When children discover a book that they love and want to read it over and over, not only is a memory being made, a life skill is being nurtured. Gifting children books for the holidays is the special treat that keeps on giving. To make the present even more special, consider including an inscription that reminds the young readers why the book, the experience or even that particular holiday season is something worth remembering.

Meet the Author: Petronela Dostalova

Meet the Author: Petronela Dostalova

Thing leads a simple life with his friends Cactus and Moose. But this wonderful, imaginary world gets shaken up when another Thing is spied through a telescope. Thing is anxious about what will happen when they meet. He even convinces himself the other Thing is dangerous and untrustworthy. The idiosyncratic illustrations bring a beautiful story to life with a great message about individuality, friendship, and not jumping to conclusions. There are plenty of potential friends out there if we just have an open mind and open heart.

Meet the Author: David Teague

Meet the Author: David Teague

The challenge of meeting a new friend reaches new heights in David Teague’s picture book, The Red Hat. David is a well-known author, professor, and children’s advocate in the Delaware community. We were delighted to have a chance to interview him as our August Author of the Month. His story about a lonely little boy who does everything he can to meet a little girl that just moved into the new building next door will surely capture the attention of little ones.

25 Phenomenal Fantasy Books for Preschoolers

25 Phenomenal Fantasy Books for Preschoolers

Everyone loves discovering new things about the world around us, but sometimes, it can be great to dive into a world of imagination. We have compiled a list of 25 great fantasy books for preschoolers for you to read with your child. Some explore the power of imagination and magic in our own world, while others transport you to a completely different world full of mythical creatures. Some will feel relatable, while others will stretch your imagination. All of them, however, offer something special to your child, their development, and your storytimes shared together.

20 Books About Dogs Your Kids Will Love

20 Books About Dogs Your Kids Will Love

Reading books and discovering new facts about different animals can be extremely exciting for children. We have compiled a list of 20 wonderful children’s books about dogs for you and your child to explore together. A mix of comedies, heartwarming tales, and educational adventures, each of these picture and board books offers the perfect opportunity for you and your child to snuggle up and learn more about man’s best friend.

25 Best Children’s Books about Summer

25 Best Children’s Books about Summer

Now that summer is in full swing, we wanted to share our list of the 25 Best Children’s Books about Summer. Summertime is such a great time to get reading! Not being in school, your children have more free time to explore reading and fall in love with books. Reading during the summer can help them discover new favorite books, explore different genres to discover what kinds of books they like to read, and to stay on-track for the next school year.

Books About Perseverance and Courage

Books About Perseverance and Courage

Sometimes the world can seem perplexing, confusing, even daunting when seen through the eyes of a child. Things happening in their lives can be confusing, anxiety-provoking, and uncertain. This is an area where books and story-telling can be powerful tools. Not only might reading a story take you to a completely different world and fill the day with wonderful smiles and memories, but it also might be a useful tool for inspiring courage, perseverance, and bravery in tough situations.

Meet the Author: Julia Patton

Meet the Author: Julia Patton

Julia Patton is our May Author of the Month. Her creative journey began when she was very small after receiving an enormous cardboard box for her birthday overflowing with art materials from a dear aunt. She continued her creative pathway studying MA in Illustration from Edinburgh University where she discovered and fell in love with picture books, an intoxicating world where pictures and words collide.

15 Activities to Entertain Children at Home

15 Activities to Entertain Children at Home

With so many kids spending more time at home for their (and our) well being, it’s important to find activities to entertain and engage them. With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of fifteen activities you can do at home to pass the time. Some are old favorites while others may provide unique and unusual new suggestions.

Best Children’s Books about Friendship

Best Children’s Books about Friendship

Friendship makes the world go around! We’ve created this list of the 20 Best Children’s Books about Friendship because books are a great way to introduce different concepts about friendship. It’s so important for your child’s social development that you talk with them about friendship. This might include what it means to be a friend, how to show a friend that you care, what forms friendships can take, and what to do when a friend stops being a good friend.

Best Board Book Ideas for Toddlers

Best Board Book Ideas for Toddlers

Here are Elephant Books, we are always on a search for the best children’s books out there. We thought we’d share some of our favorites by compiling a list of the 20 Best Board Books for Toddlers. Reading from a young age is so important, and finding engaging and educational books for your child can be difficult. So for this list, we chose some fantastic books that not only excite and entertain but also support your child’s development and encourage a love of reading. Focusing on topics ranging from colors to landmarks to Christmas, each of these books offers something special and enjoyable for your young reader.

Best Non-Screen Holiday Activities

Best Non-Screen Holiday Activities

Sitting down to read a book is always a fantastic way to bond with your child. Cozying up and experiencing a story together creates wonderful memories for both of you. This holiday season, take advantage of that little extra bit of free time and the cold weather outside to snuggle up and read with your child. Of course, anything you read will be beneficial and entertaining. But to get your child excited about the upcoming holiday season, try reading something festive!

The Perfect Family Holiday Gift

The Perfect Family Holiday Gift

As Elephant Books enters its second year, it’s sometimes fun to look back at some of the things we wrote and talked about earlier on as a company. One of our favorites is a short piece we wrote for the holiday season in 2017. Part a reflection on the nature of the holidays in general, part a love letter to the idea of books as very special gifts, this short piece sums up both our philosophy on books as gifts and our love of them at this time of year. We hope you enjoy reading or re-reading as the case may be!

Gifts from Littles to Littles

Gifts from Littles to Littles

The holiday season is all about giving. From home-baked goods to something that’s long been on someone’s wishlist, a thoughtful gift shows a loved one just how much you care. But picking out the perfect gift isn’t something special for just adults to do–kids love giving gifts too! Get your children and their friends in the gift-giving spirit by encouraging them to think of caring gifts to give to one another. They will have so much fun brainstorming what their siblings or friends might appreciate and making that vision come to life!

21 Really Unique Baby Books

21 Really Unique Baby Books

Here at Elephant Books we pride ourselves in our focus on new and undiscovered reading treasures rather than the usual classics. Nonetheless we recognize and appreciate unique baby books of all kinds…be they baby’s first board book, memory books, naming guides, or baby journals. They all have a place, and we’re privileged to come across many such unique baby book finds in our explorations.

23 Best Elephant Books for Kids

23 Best Elephant Books for Kids

What better way to inspire early reading than books about elephants! Whether the little reader is a baby, toddler, pre-schooler, or kindergartener, elephant books offer engaging and fun reading experiences. Widely known as gentle giants, elephants are renowned for their nurturing nature and strong sense of familial binds. It’s no wonder there are so many great children’s books that focus on elephant characters and behavior.

26 Tips for Making Reading Fun

26 Tips for Making Reading Fun

Encouraging children to read and appreciate books is one of the greatest gifts you can give in terms of accelerating development and inspiring life-long learning. Children who are read to regularly have a proven leg up when they start school, and studies have shown that the number of books in a child’s home has a direct correlation on their educational advancement and future earning potential. But how do you make reading both fun and engaging?

Meet the Author: Liz Wong

Meet the Author: Liz Wong

Quackers is a duck. But with whiskers and paws, he doesn’t look like all the other ducks. That’s okay! One day he meets another duck that looks just like him, but calls himself a cat. Children will appreciate this dilemma and its silliness, yet understand that you and your friends don’t all have to look the same. We can stand out and fit in all at the same time. Liz Wong brings to life a loveable character with simple but delightful illustrations in her debut picture book, Quackers.  We were fortunate to sit down with her and find out more about Quackers and what’s behind this humorous story with a much deeper meaning for your entire family.

What to Write in a Baby Shower Book

What to Write in a Baby Shower Book

Books are an increasingly popular choice for baby shower gifts. It’s not hard to see why: they’re educational, they encourage quality bonding time, they’re enduring, they get used over and over, and, as any parent can tell you who’s trying to get a baby or toddler to sleep will tell you, you can never have too many! But what do you write in a baby shower book to make it stand out, to make your gift truly special?

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