Elmer the Patchwork Elephant

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Book cover for Elmer the Patchwork Elephant

Elmer the Patchwork Elephant is a children's picture book series by the British author David McKee.

The books[edit]

Elmer was originally published in 1968. A slightly different version was published in 1989. The books are published in the United Kingdom by Andersen Press and in the United States by Harper Collins. 27 book titles have been created since 1989, and the series has sold nearly 5 million copies in 40 languages around the world. Satoshi Kitamura carried out the Japanese translation.

Spin-offs[edit]

The character has been turned into a children's TV series. It also features in a wide range of merchandising. His first story is also featured and animated in Anytime Tales, a storytelling animated program reading 5 of David McKee and Tony Ross' stories each, the story of Elmer was narrated by Johnny Morris.

Elmer stories are also available to watch in both British and American sign languages on Signed Stories apps https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/signed-stories/id550966811?mt=8

Themes[edit]

Elmer is an elephant who has a colourful body, with yellow, orange, red, pink, purple, blue, green, black and white arranged as a patchwork. He has a cheerful and optimistic personality, and he loves practical jokes.

The stories are suitable for early exploration of the themes and issues relating to the concept of diversity, as Elmer discovers that when he tries to change his appearance in order to 'blend in' with the other elephants, they no longer recognise him, or accept him as one of their own. This makes Elmer sad, and he experiences how it feels to be treated like an outcast, after being ostracised by his old friends. It's only when it begins to rain, and the grey paint that Elmer has covered himself with starts to disappear, that Elmer's 'true colours' are revealed, much to the surprise and delight of his friends, who preferred his multicoloured and fun loving persona. Following their happy reunion, the elephants reassure Elmer that they love him because of his differences, and not in spite of them, and they celebrate by painting themselves in multi-coloured paint, in recognition of Elmer's unique appearance and personality.

Titles[edit]

  • Elmer (1989; originally published in 1968)
  • Elmer Again (1991)
  • Elmer on Stilts (1993)
  • Elmer and Wilbur (1994)
  • Elmer's Colours (1994)
  • Elmer's Day (1994)
  • Elmer's Friends (1994)
  • Elmer's Weather (1994)
  • Elmer in the Snow (1995)
  • The Elmer Pop-Up Book (1996)
  • Elmer and the Wind (1997)
  • Elmer Plays Hide and Seek (1997)
  • Elmer and the Lost Teddy (1999)
  • Elmer and the Stranger (2000)
  • Look! There’s Elmer (2000)
  • Elmer and Grandpa Eldo (2001)
  • Elmer’s Concert (2001)
  • Elmer and Butterfly (2002)
  • Elmer’s New Friend (2002)
  • Elmer and the Hippos (2003)
  • Elmer's Jigsaw Book (2003)
  • Elmer and Snake (2004)
  • Elmer and Rose (2005)
  • Elmer and Aunt Zelda (2006)
  • Elmer's Baby Record Book (2006)
  • Elmer and the Rainbow (2007)
  • Elmer's First Counting Book (2007)
  • Elmer's Opposites (2007)
  • Elmer and the Big Bird (2008)
  • Elmer's Special Day (2009)
  • Elmer and Papa Red (2010)
  • Elmer and Super El (2011)
  • Elmer, Rose and Super El (2012)
  • Elmer and the Whales (2013)

External links[edit]

UK Publisher Website US Publisher Website