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?

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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