Big Brother Mouse relaxes with a book - just as Khamla sometimes does


Every mouse needs a friendly elephant

Boom-Boom the book elephant takes books to a rural village in Laos We spent a year (2007-2008) developing the idea of book parties as a way to get books into rural Lao villages. The parties got children excited about books. Then they each got their own book, and we left more with the school, so they could trade their book for a new one after they read it. During that year, our focus was making the book parties as effective as possible and we kept transportation simple, usually going to villages that we could reach by road.

By many Lao villages aren't on a road. They can only be reached by boat, or on foot. So now we're finding ways to reach those villages. A boat can carry many books. But traveling on foot, carrying a large supply of books was more of a problem.

Happily, Elefantasia had an unemployed elephant that needed work so Boom-Boom became a part-time member of our staff, helping us get books into remote villages of Xayabuli Province. Kids have always been excited when Big Brother Mouse arrived in their village. They're even more excited when we arrive with an elephant. And our staff is thrilled that not only do they not have to carry all those books up mountains and over streams, but after they've dispersed some of the books that Boom-Boom carried early on each trip, they can sometimes get a free ride.

Boom-Boom means "books" in the Lao language. Boom-Boom is (we're sure) delighted to be helping children in Laos discover the magic of reading. Moreover, she's the star of her own book: The Little Elephant That Could.