A Royal Elephant

By Ted Lewin; Betsy Lewin

Lee & Low Books, Hardcover, 9781600602658, 1pp.

Publication Date: September 2009


Elephants, the largest land animals on Earth, have long been a part of life throughout India. Some of these huge creatures are trained to do heavy work. Others perform in public festivals. When Ted and Betsy Lewin arrive in southern India to see the elephants, they are introduced to Drona, the Royal Elephant that leads the glorious procession on the last day of Dasara, a centuries-old festival celebrated each fall.

The Lewins are so enthralled with Drona that they decide to return the following year for Dasara. They arrive to find out that Drona has been in an accident and a new lead elephant, the majestic Balarama, has been chosen. This will be his first time carrying the golden howdah a beautifully carved ceremonial carriage in the grand finale parade of the Dasara festivities. All eyes will be on Balarama as he makes his debut.

With exciting narrative and vividly colored paintings, Ted and Betsy Lewin invite readers to meet the elephants up close and to participate in the wonderful spectacle of the last day of Dasara. This is an adventure no one will want to miss.

About the Author
Ted Lewin grew up in Buffalo, New York, with two brothers, one sister, two parents, a lion, an iguana, and a chimpanzee. He became interested in art as a young boy when he would draw his brothers' world of wrestling. Ted later worked as a professional wrestler to finance his studies at the Pratt Institute of Fine Arts, where he met his wife, Betsy Lewin, also a children's book writer and illustrator. He and his wife travel around the world to research the settings for their books. While working on SACRED RIVER, which he both wrote and illustrated, Ted joined thousands of Hindus on their pilgrimage to the banks of the Ganges River in Benares, India. Ted now lives and works in the brownstone he shares with his wife and their two cats in Brooklyn, New York. For more information visit

BETSY LEWIN is the well-known illustrator of Duck for President; Giggle, Giggle, Quack; and the Caldecott Honor-winning Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type, all written by Doreen Cronin. She lives in New York City.