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My Bibi Always Remembers

My Bibi Always Remembers

Written by Toni Buzzeo
Illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka
Hyperion Children’s Books, 2014
Picture Book, 32 pages
Ages 2–8

ISBN: 978-1-42318-385-3

Awards & Good Things

  • A Bank Street College Best Book

Book Description

Little Tembo, a baby elephant, is thirsty and her herd cannot find any water. But Bibi, the matriarch, “remembers the way to wet.” As Bibi leads them across the parched savannah, Tembo happily follows, every now and then getting distracted by her own memories of games she loves to play. Deftly combining dramatic and reassuring moments and illustrated with lush images based on African elephant life, this book is sure to become a read-aloud favorite for children, parents, and grandparents.

My Bibi Always Remembers


“Tembo is childlike and appealing, but all her actions are also consistent with elephant behavior as explained in an author’s note describing the dynamics of elephant family groups. Wohnoutka’s lovely illustrations, in tans, purples and grays, convey the vastness of the setting, along with accurate depictions of the elephants and the other watchful animals. A gentle, loving picture of interaction among generations.

Kirkus Reviews

“In both text and art, it’s a careful and effective balance of anthropomorphic warmth and real-world animal behavior.”

Publishers Weekly

“With its catchy rhythm and finely crafted text and art, this book is perfect for group sharing.”

School Library Journal

“Buzzeo’s lyrical text begs to be performed. Wohnoutka’s appealing artwork conveys the details of elephant behavior and reassures listeners that Tembo is well protected. An author’s note clarifies pachyderm social structures.”


“Once again, Buzzeo and Wohnoutka manage a lively fictional tale that stealthily conveys a surprising amount of fact about animal behavior, while the careful structure, lilting patterning, and occasional elephantine sound effects make this an excellent read-a-loud candidate.”

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

“This attractively illustrated picture book portrays the adventures of Tembo, a baby elephant, as she accompanies her female relatives to ‘the wet.’ The story is a tribute to grandmothers while providing readers with some interesting information about elephant behavior. The illustrations of the African savannah provide detail, while the anthropomorphic expressions of the animals are appealing. Young readers will enjoy this tender story.”

Library Media Connectionl