The Elephant Doctor of India by Janie Chodosh is a charming read which introduces the reader to the life of Dr. Kushal Konwar Sarma, a man with a passion for elephants and a desire to save them. Through him, it brings the reader to the world of Assam, India, where elephants are used for labor.
The book is beautifully broken up into sections, which share the page count perfectly and leaves the reader wanting for nothing. Some chapters deal with the life of Dr. Sarma, telling about how he fell in love with elephants and how he sought to dedicate his life to helping these magnificent creatures. They start with his childhood, follow him through his studies, and focus in on key moments of his life, including times when he saves the life of dangerous bull elephants.
The subsequent chapters will then focus in on some aspect of the elephant’s biology, behavior, or cultural role, teaching the reader about the world both Dr. Sarma and his subjects exist in. It explains key features of elephant biology, such as musth, the hormone fueled state male elephants enter around the breeding season. The entire book closes off with a glossary, allowing the reader to check terms as they need to.
The Elephant Doctor of India is a charming read for anyone interested in learning about the world of India, its elephants, and the people who work with them. It does a lovely job of both entertaining and educating the reader, and I would strongly recommend it for younger audiences.