The Sand Elephant

Rinna Hermann; Illustrated by Sanne Dufft

Available to buy

Quick Look

  • A vibrant and charming celebration of the power of childhood imagination and play
  • Message of reassurance for children that imaginary friends will never leave us
  • From the highly-praised illustrator of Magnus and the Night Lion

Paul is playing alone in a sandpit when an elephant made of sand takes him on an amazing adventure. With his sand elephant, and his new friends, Paul isn't lonely anymore. But what about the rain? A vibrant, charming celebration of childhood imagination.

235 x 210 mm
Floris Books
Picture Books
colour illustrations
Age Range:
From 3 to 6 years
28 pages
Publication date:
12 Sep 2019


Paul has no one to play with. The sandpit is empty. Or is it?

As he digs and pats the sand, a shape appears: an elephant. Curling up under the elephant's warm, sandy trunk, Paul drifts off to sleep. But then something amazing happens. The sand elephant stands up, and lifts Paul onto its back!

The sand elephant takes Paul to a wonderful land where incredible sand animals and their children are laughing and playing together. But what will happen when the wind starts to blow and the rain starts to fall?

In this delightful celebration of the power of childhood imagination, Rinna Herman's story combines with pictures full of vibrancy and charm by acclaimed illustrator Sanne Dufft. This gentle story reassures children that friends from our imagination stay with us forever, so we need never feel alone.


'Such a beautifully illustrated book celebrating the power of imagination and play. A must for every family.'
-- Kindling

'In this sweet German import, a little boy discovers he is never alone when he uses his imagination… An uplifting story about resilience and creativity.'
-- School Library Journal

'This book reminds us of the wonder and joy in a child's imagination... The illustrations provided by Sanne Dufft are beautiful, hand-painted watercolors. Her wonderful illustrations can be found in many children's books. In this particular story, she does an amazing job of blending the animals into their sandy background -- almost blurring reality and fantasy.'
-- Youth Services Book Review, 5 stars

'Wishes and belief make playtime magical. [A] comforting message of resurrection.'
-- Kirkus Reviews


Rinna Hermann's life has taken her from Berlin to Belfast, London to Sydney and back to Berlin -- where she now lives with her husband and children and works as a writer and teacher.

Sanne Dufft is a children's book illustrator and former art therapist. She lives in Germany with her family, and is the illustrator of Magnus and the Night Lion, The Shepherd Boy and the Christmas Gifts and Bear Child (all Floris Books).

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