• Picture Book Snob

Fun on the farm with friends from the zoo!

Elephant on the Farm and Giraffe in the Trees by Brendan McDonald and Martin Beckett

Inspired by his nephew and godson Tommy, who spent some time in Crumlin Children’s hospital, Brendan McDonald decided to write his first children’s book. Elephant on the Farm was independently published in 2020 and 20% of the profits from the sale of each copy was donated to Crumlin. After getting the story stocked in 70 Irish bookshops and gift shops, Elephant on the Farm raised €1020 for Crumlin in its first year alone.

Elephant on the Farm by Brendan McDonald and Martin Beckett

Following on from the success of Elephant on the Farm, Giraffe in the Trees released last month. Like its predecessor, this is also an Irish charity fundraiser. 20% of the profits from the sale of Giraffe in the Trees will go to Debra Ireland. Giraffe in the Trees also made it on to Ireland’s biggest TV event, The Late Late Toy Show, where it was prominently displayed on the wall of the set. This was a proud moment for Brendan as almost everyone in Ireland has dreamed about being on the Late Late Toy Show at some point!

Elephant on the Farm by Brendan McDonald and Martin Beckett

Elephant on the Farm places an emphasis on including others and celebrating diversity. Giraffe in the Trees demonstrates the importance of friendship and shows how much we can achieve with the support of our friends. Brendan kindly sent us his books a few weeks ago and my kids have been enjoying them. The line 'stop eating that cake' from Giraffe in the Trees has been particularly popular here and always gets a great laugh.

Giraffe in the Trees by Brendan McDonald and Martin Beckett

Both stories are cheerful and charming, with lots of rhyming, alliteration and lively animals. Martin Beckett’s illustrations are animated, bright and colourful, and full of cute creatures that will appeal to little readers. My four-year-old’s response to seeing these books for the first time was, "I think they are beautiful."

Giraffe in the Trees by Brendan McDonald and Martin Beckett

Elephant on the Farm and Giraffe in the Trees can be purchased from bedtimestory.ie as well as various stockists around Ireland. They can also be found in Irish libraries. Follow the author on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more information on these and upcoming books. Brendan is available for school visits and can be contacted on read@bedtimestory.ie to arrange a virtual or in-person event.

Author Brendan McDonald with his nephew Tommy and their cheque for Crumlin