In “My Bibi Always Remembers” by Toni Buzzeo and illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka, a baby elephant named Tembo learns that her grandmother, Bibi, will make sure that she doesn’t get lost.
The elephants are searching for water, and Bibi, the matriarch, is leading the way. In this celebration of women (elephants), children will learn that the elephant group consists of “aunties, sisters, Mama — one by one. Step — step. Searching for wet.”
Along the way, Tembo gets distracted by yummy leaves and a stork flying through the air. But each time she gets lost, Tembo waits and listens. Her mother retrieves her and she hears Bibi call. Children will love the repetition and getting to call out what will happen next — Bibi calling to Tembo and the other elephants and showing them the way.
And finally, they reach the sandy riverbed where Bibi and the other elephants dig into the sand until the water bubbles up. And Tembo knows that someday, she will be the Bibi leading the way for her own family of elephants.
An Author’s Note at the end provides factual information about elephants and how they live in groups. Readers will learn about how who rules the group and how they find food and water.
This picture book is also a great tool for reassuring children that just as Bibi always finds Tembo and keeps her safe, so will parents always keep children safe and protected. If children are ever lost, they should do what Tembo does, wait and listen, and their parents will find them.
Please note: This review is based on the final hardcover book provided by the publisher, Disney-Hyperion, for review purposes.
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