Tony and His Elephants
"Burnham shows us how even young children can make a difference in the world."
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More About This Title Tony and His Elephants


Tony and His Elephants: Best Friends Forever! is a photodocumentary book by journalist and writer Cathleen Burnham, the third book in her WAKA (World Association of Kids and Animals) series of books featuring kids involved in wild animal preservation efforts around the globe.

Tony and His Elephants introduces Tony, an eight-year-old boy, whose family runs a small elephant sanctuary in northern Thailand. He becomes involved in the care of two young elephants, Baby Pumpuii and Nam Cho, rescued from an urban setting to a new life in the forests.

But life in the wilds is not without its own drama and danger. Tony is quickly drawn into a deep and lasting relationship with these amazing and sensitive animals.

He learns to feed and train the young elephants to follow simple commands. Then, when a fire breaks out in the nearby jungle, he helps to lead the animals to safety.

Like the first two books in this series (Doyli to the Rescue: Saving Baby Monkeys in the Amazon and Tortuga Squad: Kids Saving Sea Turtles in Costa Rica), the text and photos shows a youngster deeply involved in caring for the well-being of young animals in need of shelter, food, and lots of love.

The conservation message is clear but not overly polemic, and is skillfully blended into the glimpse of everyday life of active kids and their families who are involved in small-scale, grassroots animal-rescue efforts.


Cathleen Burnham is an experienced travel and wildlife photojournalist. She has done assignments across the globe from Africa to Southeast Asia, from South and Central America to Europe. She is author of the WAKA series of books (World Association of Kids and Animals), profiling real kids around the world who are actively engaged in local wildlife conservation on a grassroots, community-based level.

Ms. Burnham hopes these stories about extraordinary kids doing creative, practical things to save wild animals will inspire others to get involved in protecting animals and natural habitats close to home and around the world.


Praise for the series:

An unusual glimpse of children as environmental activists within their own community.” – ALA Booklist

Burnham has written other books about compassionate efforts by children, such as Doyli to the Rescue: Saving Baby Monkeys in the Amazon (Crickhollow, 2015), that inspire readers to take positive action.… A wonderful addition to most collections.” – School Library Journal

"Burnham shows us how even young children can make a difference in the world. Young and old alike will be enthralled.” – Natalie Kinsey-Warnock, Children’s Book Author