I also splurged and bought little ribbons in all of the colors of the other animals for the elephant's spray. The tail is an upcycled bookmark tassel.
For the elephant the steps were:
1 cut shape of the main body
2 sew gray material to the underside of the felt
3 sew on tassel tail
4 sew on pink felt mouth and bead tusk
5 sew on ear
6 sew on eye beads (I made the eye purple because I could)
7 sew on ribbon spray
If I could do it over again, I would not have cut the felt off where the trunk goes, and sewn the ribbons to that felt and then covered it with the trunk. Live and learn. Instead, I had to start the ribbons behind where they are and fold them over. I think it looks ok, but I think I would have saved myself some hassle.
Technically, to go full circle, the elephant should have been on brown, because the first animal is the brown bear. But, I couldn't bear [no pun intended] to do that to the pretty elephant. So, the gold fish are on brown (I don't have a post for those because a friend made them, there are 3).
I hope Little J likes the book and I hope you do too. I found this technique (under-laying the touchy-feely fabric so fun to sew, that I'm using it for other projects).
P.S., Why aren't hassle and tassel spelled the same way?
Given the number of beads, you may not want to let a young child play with a book like this unattended.