My Bibi Always Remembers

My Bibi Always Remembers

Toni Buzzeo says:  This third picture book joins STAY CLOSE TO MAMA and JUST LIKE MY PAPA as a third picture book set on the East African savannah.

As always, there are a host of educator resources on my website for this
title, including a Reader's Theater script, a non-CCSS curriculum guide
that includes lots of ties across the curriculum and two Common Core
teaching guides too. You'll find research projects in these materials
too--lots to use in the library!



My Bibi Always Remembers is a heartfelt homage to grandparents everywhere. Author Toni Buzzeo weaves a magical tale of an elephant family and their close relationships with one another. Captivating illustrations by Mike Wohnoutka capture not only the magnificence and majesty of the elephants but the nuances of playfulness, joy, love and belonging.Tembo is the youngest in a family of elephants. Bibi is her grandmother and leader of her  family--in an elephant family, the oldest female is entrusted with keeping them all safe and remembering where to find food and water. Tembo is playful and forgetful, losing her way as she gets sidetracked by the sights. Each time she falls behind, Auntie or Bibi finds her. Bibi leads the family to the water where they drink and rest.Tembo's expressions and childlike wonder for the world are palpable in each spread. Her sense of whimsy, joy, and fun are infectious and will captivate young readers and parents (and grandparents).Repetitive phrasing calls for reading aloud and story times.My Bibi Always Remembers would be a lovely gift for a new grandparent or grandbaby.

32 pages  9781423183853  Ages 4-9

Recommended by:  Pamela Thompson, MLIS, Library Media Specialist, Texas USA


I read Toni Buzzeo’s newest book, My Bibi Always Remembers (Sept 2, 2014)  For those of you who loved Stay Close to Mama and even Dawdle Duckling, the innate curiosity of a 4 year old elephant comes charging through in this story of Tembo, the young elephant.  

With an even pace of repeating refrain of “When Bibi calls, everyone comes-one by one. Step-step. Searching for wet,”, the story trumpets out a strong theme of family.  Even as the idea of “It takes a village to raise a child” echoes through our school halls, so it does through this tender story.  Tembo is distracted by things he sees as he remembers games with his Mama, chase with his Aunt, or hide and seek with his Bibi (Grandma).  Through each of the adventures in the Kenya savannah, the family comes to his aid, including his beloved herd matriarch, his Bibi, who always remembers the way to lead her family.

Through the author's own adventures to Kenya, she provides authentic elephant family behaviors in an Author’s Note at the end and mentions the Amboseli Trust for Elephants,

Recommended by:  Rebecca Richardson, Teacher-Librarian, Technology Facilitator/Leader, Louisiana USA


*My Bibi Always Remembers* is another beautiful story about the powerful bond between a child and her grandmother. Tembo is a little elephant whose herd's matriarch is her grandmother (Bibi). As Bibi lets out a low rumble to signal the herd to follow her to water, Tembo follows along with her mother and aunties because "When Bibi calls, everyone comes..." But, as most little ones do, Tembo gets distracted, first by a jackalberry tree, then a stork, and finally a game of hide-and-seek that leaves her sleepily resting in the shade. Every time, Tembo thinks she's been left behind but is gently pulled back into the fold to follow Bibi to the remembered spot for water. The illustrations by Mike Wohnoutka are warm and fluid and capture the gentle intelligence on Bibi's face as well as the innocent playfulness of Tembo's. The final nighttime spread will warm your heart and just might make you want to burst into a rendition of "The Circle of Life!" With an endnote giving information about African elephants, students will want to learn more about these magnificent creatures. Pair this with Buzzeo's stories *Stay Close to Mama *and *Just Like My Papa* when little ones are learning about families and communities. Grandmothers everywhere will want this one for their precious little "Tembos."

Recommended by:  Susan Grigsby, Library Media Specialist on Special Assignment, Georgia USA


Childhood is such a wonderful time to let your curiosity run free and wild knowing you are safe in the love and care

​from the family ​that surround

you.  That's the magical message that beams from MY BIBI ALWAYS REMEMBERS.

Meet Tembo, a very lucky little elephant, who is on the march across the plains of Kenya as his herd, led by his formidable grandmother, Bibi,

​goes in ​

search of the treasure of the Earth called water.  Bibi knows where that water is.  Bibi remembers.

As the herd follows the echoes of thousands of years of searching ​elephants, Tembo, a beginner elephant if

  you will, is enchanted by all the wonder that surrounds him.  A jackalberry tree, baboons, a stork all catch
his fascinated eye and off he goes to discover.  Just as every toddler will explore and wander 
so does​ our winsome
and ​he

loses track of his herd.  Where are they?  Oh that moment of feeling small in a world so large.​

But the bond between mother and child cannot be broken and even though little Tembo is lost, happily his mother is found

and she always knows where her little guy is adventuring.

This is a lovely introduction to the wondrous land of Kenya, the magnificence of elephants and the bond between parent and child that though invisible has a power and a wonder that reaches into every heart and across the geographical boundaries of our world.

Educators will be able to take this one in a million directions...geography, families, elephants, conservation, the importance of water.  Have fun!!!

Recommended by:  Barb,

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