My book review of 'Bandoola: The Great Elephant Rescue' by William Grill

Bandoola: The Great Elephant Rescue

by William Grill
Recommended age: 6+
Bandoola: The Great Elephant Rescue
by William Grill

When William Grill found an account of the war veteran James Howard Williams in a secondhand bookshop, he was determined to find out more about the man called Elephant Bill. A visit to Myanmar followed, to experience the place, note the landscape and to gain an insight into the lives of elephants and their keepers.

The result is a beautifully detailed and moving account of the life of one special elephant, called Bandoola, and to urge us all to think about how we respect and care for these magnificent creatures today.

When world war reached Myanmar, then Burma, people were forced to leave their homes in the jungle. James Howard Williams joined with Po Toke, the keeper of Bandoola, as they sought to lead a group of 53 elephants and more than 200 refugees through forests and across mountains to safety in northern India.  

The journey tested them to the limit but through the experience, humans and animals bond in a powerful display of trust, understanding and bravery. It's a wonderful message of how we can work together with respect and compassion but it's only too sad that we keep having to learn the lesson over and over again.

This is a beautiful book packed with information and emotion from the award-winning and thoughtful author-illustrator, William Grill.  

As it's a picture book, it'll be found in the children's sections, but there is so much here that anyone aged 8 years upwards will love this book and return to it time and again. 

Review date: September 2021
Publication date: 1st October 2021