Dad of Divas' Reviews: Book Review - Tarra and Bella: The Elephant and Dog Who Became Best Friends

Monday, September 10, 2012

Book Review - Tarra and Bella: The Elephant and Dog Who Became Best Friends

About the Book
A children’s book by internationally known elephant care expert, welfare advocate and author Carol Buckley will represent the state of Tennessee at the 12th Annual National Book Festival in Washington, D.C., September 22-23.

Buckley’s book, TARRA and BELLA, The Elephant and Dog Who Became Best Friends (Putnam Books), was selected by the Tennessee State Library to represent the state at the 12th Annual Library of Congress National Book Festival on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

TARRA and BELLA, published in 2009, is the inspiring true story of friendship that grew between an elephant and a stray dog at The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. The book has become a favorite among children, adults and elementary school reading programs. An “Assignment America” story on the unlikely pair is one of CBS television’s most-watched videos ever.

Buckley is the founder of Elephant Aid International, which works to improve the welfare of elephants both in captivity and in the wild. She is also the co-founder and former CEO of The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee, the nation’s largest natural habitat refuge for elephants in North America. Her innovations in captive elephant management at the Sanctuary drew international attention; Time magazine named her A Hero for the Planet in 1997 and she has been featured in the New York Times Magazine, People, Parade and Chicago Tribune, and on CNN and the major television networks.

Her work in Asia has been profiled by Scientific American and Live Encounters (page 18).

Buckley is also the author of two other picture books: TRAVELS WITH TARRA and JUST FOR ELEPHANTS. All three books are available for purchase individually or as a set at

Learn more about Carol at She is available the month of September for interviews about her books and her work in Asia.

Tarra and Barra Synopsis
Best friends come in all shapes and sizes! After retiring from the circus, Tarra became the first resident of The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. When other elephants moved in and developed close friendships, only Tarra remained independent...until the day she met a stray mixed-breed dog named Bella.

It was love at first sight as this unlikely duo became inseparable. They ate together, slept together and even understood each other’s language. And when Bella suffered a severe spinal injury, Tarra stayed by her side until Bella regained her health.

My Take on the Book
This is a wonderful story with beautiful pictures. What I loved most is the interpersonal relationship between the dog and elephant and you get to truly see this unique friendship in action. I also liked to show my daughters that animals (and people) can be friends with the most unlikely partners/people, but that this was ok, and that they should always be willing and open to accept others for who they are - what a great message! This was a great book that all kids should read!

All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

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