Balarama: A Royal Elephant

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Product Details
$12.95  $12.04
Lee & Low Books
Publish Date
8.3 X 9.8 X 0.4 inches | 0.8 pounds

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About the Author

Ted Lewin and his wife, Betsy, have been traveling the world together for decades and have chronicled many of their wide-ranging adventures in books for young readers. In addition to Puffling Patrol, their most recent collaborations were Balarama: A Royal Elephant and Horse Song: The Naadam of Mongolia, both published by Lee & Low Books.

Ted was awarded a Caldecott Medal Honor in 1994 for Peppe the Lamplighter. Betsy was the recipient of a Caldecott Medal Honor in 2001 for Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type. When not teaching, visiting with young fans, or traveling, the Lewins are usually drawing and painting in their Brooklyn, New York, home studios. You can visit Ted Lewin online at and you can visit Betsy Lewin online at


"Ted Lewin's brilliant, realistic watercolors capture the sun-drenched pageantry of Mysore as well as the dusty, filtered light of the forest, while Betsy Lewin's lively cartoons aptly depict the action and personalities involved. . . If the art doesn't grab children, the elephants surely will. Wonderful." -- School Library Journal

"Rich watercolors and as-it-happens writing bring the story of India's royal elephants into sharp focus. . . . The Lewins' watercolor spreads emphasize India's brilliant light, deep purple shadows and the way the elephants dwarf their human handlers. They are honest about the cruelty of past capture methods, but include anecdotes to offset the story's sober moments. . . . For a clear view of a tradition dating back centuries, it's a valuable contribution." -- Publishers Weekly

"The combination of compelling travelogue and images is immediate and dramatic. Kids will also enjoy the extensive back matter, which includes elephant facts and a glossary." -- Booklist

"Pageantry and noble beasts alike are vividly realized in Ted Lewin's signature watercolors, while Betsy Lewin's agile drawings add deft characterizations, lively action (drummers in the parade), and humor. . . . A gorgeous glimpse of a continuing custom." -- The Horn Book

"The beauty of the book lies in its two different styles of illustrations on Strathmore Bristol board, capturing traditional color and designs. . . The book is recommended as a cultural exploration for librarians and anyone interested in elephants and India." -- Multicultural Review

Texas Bluebonnet Award Shortlist - Texas Library Association (TLA)