Medina woman writes a children’s book about girl’s wish for an elephant

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 13 September 2019 at 12:26 pm

Photo by Ginny Kropf: Georgia Thomas of Medina holds a copy of her book, “Ellen’s Elephant,” a true story of her granddaughter’s wish for an elephant. The book is for sale at The Book Shoppe, where Thomas will have a book signing on Sept. 23.

MEDINA – It took Georgia Thomas 21 years to finally write a book about her granddaughter’s wish for an elephant.

The former Georgia Ramming grew up in Medina, married her childhood sweetheart Terry Thomas and moved around the country during his military career, while raising their daughter.

From the time her granddaughter Ellen was a little girl, she was fascinated with elephants. While her friends wanted dolls or kittens or puppies, Ellen wanted an elephant.

“We did all sorts of things to appease her,” Thomas said. “Kids can have very unrealistic expectations, and to get them to face reality you sometimes have to be creative.”

Thomas started putting her thoughts on paper while Ellen was still a little girl, and she often read the book to Ellen. But life got in the way and she never got around to having it illustrated and published.

Until recently.

After her husband died, Thomas moved back to Medina to live with her sister Joycelyn Jennings. She still hadn’t found an illustrator for her book, until she renewed acquaintances with Diana Martin, a talented Medina artist. She gave Martin the text and told her to read it, letting the words giver her visualization.

“I truly believe she captured the essence of the words,” Thomas said.

Martin’s father became the image of grandpa in the book.

Ellen, who is now 27, had no idea what her grandmother had done.

The book tells how Ellen begged for an elephant, and no amount of bribing could make her happy.

Then Thomas got an idea.

She was living in Baltimore at the time and the Baltimore Zoo had an adopt-an-animal program. So Thomas showed Ellen how they could adopt an elephant, thereby satisfying Ellen’s wishes, while helping their zoo.

And after that, Ellen was happy.

Thomas taught at a middle school in Baltimore and used the book in their eighth-grade art program. She said the book satisfied three major points.

It had repetitive lines. It introduced the reader to adjectives. And it was an outreach to inform the reader about the program to support their zoo.

The book also has two pages with pictures of Ellen’s elephant which a child can color.

Thomas just sent a copy of the book to Ellen.

“She opened the package and jumped and screamed,” Thomas said. “She was delighted beyond belief.”

Thomas has donated several copies of the book to Lee-Whedon Memorial Library.

Since returning to Medina, Thomas has also written a book for the Cobblestone Society Museum, of which she is a member and volunteer. That book is called “Cobble the Mouse,” and tells about a mouse which lives in the Cobblestone Museum. That book is illustrated by Patty Blackburn of Medina and is for sale at the museum.

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