History, Humour and Animal Rights | Young Readers Write

By Ayaan Gupta, Grade 3

Uncle Nehru, Please Send an Elephant! is a book written by Devika Cariapa and illustrated by Satvik Gade. This is a very interesting book. In this book, the author has tried to teach us a part of our real Indian history by narrating a series of real-life events which took place immediately after independence. 

In this book, the author introduces us to the main character who is India’s first prime minister – Jawaharlal Nehru. He was lovingly known as Uncle Nehru because he adored children. 

The story starts off with a colourful letter written by the children of Japan to the Prime Minister of India. They wanted a present – a real elephant. Even though the P.M. was a very busy man he still took out the time and left no stone unturned to find the perfect elephant for the children. The author very beautifully expresses his reasons for doing so. Uncle Nehru wanted to build friendship, peace and harmony in the entire world. Very subtly the author explains that even though India had her own financial problems at this time, nothing discouraged Uncle Nehru from building a relationship. The author quotes, “These elephants became ambassadors of India and a symbol of peace.” 

The author continues to take us on a journey around the world as letters start pouring in from various countries. Nehru gifted elephants to all these countries and earned friends around the world. 

The other most important topic that the author talks about deals with the feelings of the elephants and their rights. We know that when the elephants reached the children, they felt overjoyed but …. What about the elephants? What did they feel? Nobody bothered to give this a thought. 

But in comparison, in today’s day and age I’m glad that there are animal activists fighting for the rights of these animals. They are teaching mankind how animals suffer while being displaced from their natural habitats and families. 

Credit should also definitely go to the illustrator. The colourful detailed images help us see the children’s state of mind and the joy on their faces. One particular image which shows a teacher trying to teach an elephant how to read and write in English is particularly hilarious. 

I would definitely recommend this book to all 6 to 8 year-olds. In my opinion, you will definitely go back to your teachers/parents to further discuss these points in detail. 



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