The Book

Sammy – The Flying Purple Baby Elephant

(Remembering the Old Ways of the Elephant)

Excessive use of smartphones prevents us from connecting with each other in a genuine way. We are not being present in the moment. We are often using a smartphone to avoid a deeper connection with others.

Children especially are sensitive to the moments when adults are not paying attention to them, completely lost in the world of their electronic device. Children deeply feel the need for genuine connection, physical presence and attention.

This book is guiding a child to rediscover their desire for time with friends and family, celebration and play.

Book summary

Sammy’s Story

Sammy the flying purple baby elephant is sad that his Mommy and Daddy are on their smartphones all day long. He knows smartphones have lots and lots of good things about them, but why do they have to be on them all day long?

Sammy is determined to find a way to get his parents off their smartphones and back to remembering the old ways of the elephant. Will he succeed?

What people are saying…

This book is very relevant to our day to day lives today for both adults and kids alike.

I loved the colorful and very friendly pictures. They are very inviting to look at. I love the concept that the author so beautiful delivered, “Relationships are much more important then gadgets.” I also really enjoyed how elegantly and elephantly:) the author was able to deliver the message in such a simple manner. A great read for any child growing up in this day and age.


A Delightful & Informative Book

What a great idea to have a book for children to teach them how to stay off their cell phones — or to remind their parents what’s really important. It was a very pleasant read — I have two grandchildren so I’m always looking for books for them. I would certainly recommend it. Children will enjoy it and it may make a difference when they’re old enough to want a phone. It’s also a warning to parents.

Linda Joyce Stolow – Astrologer and Author of “The Day You Were Born" 
Linda Joyce Stolow – Astrologer and Author of “The Day You Were Born

Read & Discuss!

Not only does this wonderful story written & illustrated by the talented artist, Robert O’Neill, cue the readers’ thoughts into a social commentary, what is perhaps equally important – it also transforms and opens our imaginations unto a dazzling world! I look forward to more work from Robert! Read, share, enjoy & reflect with your children, grandchildren, students, etc!

Aaron Zomback – Filmmaker 
Aaron Zomback – Filmmaker

When the Student Becomes the Teacher

With a little old-school wisdom from his grandfather, Sammy, a sweet, innocent, yet sad and confused purple baby elephant teaches his parents that the old ways are still the best ways. “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it!

Carl Stillitano – Playwright / life coach 
Carl Stillitano – Playwright / life coach


Beautiful art and a very important message! Buy it for your kids, and have them read it to you. We adults are the ones who need to hear it…

David Rosenthal – 
David Rosenthal –

Take a look inside the book

This book was created with minimal use of computers. All illustrations were originally hand painted in watercolor, then digitalized with limited image editing.

Robert L. O’Neill working on the original painting of Sammy

About the book

The Book’s Story

Sammy the flying purple baby elephant was originally created by Robert during a painting workshop. Later that night, Robert found himself mindlessly spending time on a social media platform. He grew aware of how unfulfilled he felt, looking outside himself for satisfaction instead of going within, by the means of creative expression. And so the storyline for the book was born.


No Smartphone Zone

Here are some things you (and your child) can do instead of spending time on a smartphone. Experience a genuine connection with yourself and another being.


1. Read a book

2. Paint

3. Go for a walk

4. Take an acting class

5. Talk to a stranger

6. Play with your pet

7. Play with another human

8. Write in a Journal

9. Go for a run

10. Take a Yoga class

11. Go for a run

12. Sit around the fire

13. Knit a hat

14. Go swimming

15. Go hiking

Robert L. O'Neill