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Where's My Memory?

Written by Gavin McCormack Illustrated by Jennifer Cooper



Where's My Memory?

by Gavin McCormack Il l u strated by Jenni f er Cooper

Copyright Š 2016 Gavin McCormack Illustrations by Jennifer Cooper Layout and typesetting by Chaya Mendelson p. cm. ISBN 0-0000000-0-0 All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review. Printed in Australia First Printing 2016

Dedicated to Taegan McNamara-Tavaga and John Tavaga. The sky is filled with love. |

It was a hot day in the desert.


Bernard and his family walked slowly in their search for water.


Bernard found shelter under an Ana tree.


Mya and the others wanted to keep looking for water, but Bernard couldn’t walk anymore. He was hungry but the leaves were too high to reach.


After several hours, Mya urged the group to keep walking. She knew water was not far away. But Bernard didn’t move.


He was too old and weak to go on. The memory of elephants waited patiently for him. But it was no use.


They waited…

and waited…



and waited. 13

Bernard could see his family were thirsty. “Go ahead,” he said. “I wil catch you up. I just need a few more minutes to rest.


Mya led the group away while trying to hide her tears.


The night surrounded Bernard. He lay on the ground and closed his eyes.


The next morning, the warm sun rose behind the hil s and a thick fog fil ed the valley.


By now, his family were far away drinking from a watering hole. Mya and the others listened for Bernard. But the desert was stil . 18

Bernard lay under the tree, lonely and weak.

Suddenly, he heard leaves rustling. With his last bit of strength, he looked up.



A mother giraffe was feeding her son on the lush green leaves high up in the trees.


As Bernard watched, his stomach rumbled loudly. 21

The giraffes stopped and stared at him.


After a short time, the mother pulled down a huge branch fil ed with juicy green leaves.

She dragged it along the ground and placed it in front of Bernard.



As Bernard gobbled up the food, the giraffe told him a story.


She said, “Many years ago, the valley was dry and we were desperate for water.�


“Out of nowhere, a camel appeared and saved our lives.”


When Bernard’s stomach was full, the giraffe smiled and walked away.


Bernard felt strong again.


“Now, where’s my memory?” he said. He raised his trunk in the air and sniffed. 30

He opened his ears wide to hear the wind.

He felt the Earth with his feet and began to walk.

With a stomach full of leaves, Bernard picked up speed. 31

Soon, he reached the edge of the valley where the hil s rose high. He could see his family in the distance.


He trumpeted loudly and ran down to them. 33


That night, as the rain poured down, Bernard told his family about the kindness of the giraffe and the camel. 35

The next day, as the elephants warmed in the morning light, Bernard spotted something. 36

An orphaned zebra was surrounded by a pride of hungry lions.


The elephants looked at Bernard and remembered the lesson the giraffe had taught them.

They knew what to do. 38

Together, they ran toward the lions, stamping their feet, sounding their trumpets and flapping their ears.


The lions quickly ran away and the baby zebra was safe.


With that, the memory of elephants made their way back into the valley. 41

And the zebra came too.


About the book What can the book do for your child? The text works on a number of levels and promotes the culture of community amongst children; giving for the sake of giving, helping because help is needed. The underlying message behind the text is that "A kind and compassionate act is often its own reward.' It shows the children that the smallest gesture on your part may mean the world to somebody else. Within the story, Bernard is helped by another species of animal. He cannot repay her as she quickly moves on, but the lesson he learns from her kindness is one which ultimately helps him to "pass it forward' and save the life of another. The science behind the story The story of Bernard and his memory of elephants is both moral and scientific. It holds the key to many unknown facts that surround the legacy of the elephant. Children will understand that elephants have the capacity to feel emotions and have even been known to cry. It demonstrates that within a memory (the collective noun for a group of elephants), the dominant female will take charge if the Bull can no longer do so, and also educates the children about the sensitivity and precision of the elephants' senses. Bernard uses his senses to ultimately find his family (or his memory, as the title suggests). 43

About the author

Gavin McCormack is a primary school teacher based in Sydney Australia who wants to make a difference. As a child, he was bullied at school. The feeling of the bullying he faced stayed with him well into his adult life. After working with children for almost 20 years, he has seen patterns emerging, especially in those children who are socially excluded. He decided to write this book to work toward the eradication of social exclusion in schools and early childhood centres, and to educate young people about the long-term effects of bullying and exclusion.


About the illustrator

Jennifer Cooper is an Australian artist who works in painting, collage, murals, speed painting and illustration. Jennifer is constantly exploring new media and digital illustration is her latest phase. Jennifer began her Fine Arts degree at Newcastle University, Australia, and completed it at Bauhaus University in Germany. She then relocated to Dubai with her English husband in 2010 and has been a full-time artist since then.



"Where's My Memory?' tells the story of Bernard the African elephant who discovers the beauty in a random act of kindness. He learns important lessons about the value of selflessness as he struggles to keep up in the hot African sun. Follow Bernard as he discovers the power of kindness, which will not only save himself but will help to pass on his newfound wisdom to his entire family, too.


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