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Saturday 26th May is Elmer Day with hundreds of Elmer inspired events taking place in bookshops and libraries up and down the country for the hugely popular pre-school character Elmer the Patchwork Elephant. To mark Elmer Day we've selected some of our personal favourite stories, both recently published and some published a while ago, about Elmer, everyone's favourite Patchwork Elephant.
Out walking, Elmer the Elephant is in a reflective mood, taking his time to soak up the sounds, smells and sights around him. He spots shapes in the clouds and in the sandstone rocks, he listens to the noise of the river crashing over a waterfall, notices the raindrops in a spider's web that look like sparkling diamonds and smells the scent of wild flowers. The other animals hurry past, far too busy to stop and enjoy these natural wonders. Fortunately Elmer meets his cousin Wilbur and they both stand happily together to watch the night-time draw in. This is a gentle introduction to mindfulness, a celebration of being in the moment and making time to appreciate the world around us.
Who better than friendly, lovable Elmer to introduce the very young to first concepts. Learning colours is lots of fun with Elmer, who is himself of course an irresistible patchwork and so vibrant that just looking at him gladdens the heart. Here he shows off all your favourite colours, balancing yellow and orange citrus fruits on his trunk, enjoying a pink lolly at the beach, running over green grass under a blue sky. Chunky tabs make it especially good for little hands, and each different scene is full of first learning opportunities. ~ Andrea Reece
Elmer introduces his friends and more in this bright, user-friendly board book. He’s the brightest, giraffe is the tallest, snake is the longest – it’s a great way to learn important first concepts and to develop children’s vocabulary and understanding of the world too. Elmer is the perfect pre-school character – warm, friendly, reassuring and this is a lovely book to share with the very young. Chunky tabs make turning the pages especially easy for little fingers. ~ Andrea Reece
May 2018 Book of the Month | All children should grow up with Elmer and this abridged version of the original story, presented as an Elmer-shaped board book, is the perfect first introduction to his particular celebration of difference and acceptance. It’s a good size for parent and child to share and David McKee’s timeless, vibrant illustrations provide so much for even the youngest to look at, enjoy and discuss. ~ Andrea Reece *** Andersen Press invites YOU to join in with Elmer Day and 'show your colours’. You can hold an Elmer parade in a library, a bookshop, a classroom, at home, outside – anywhere! Download an Elmer’s Parade Pack here which includes craft activities, games, colouring sheets, bunting and lots of ideas for holding your own Elmer party!
The Elmer books are stunning to look at, with their jewel-like colours and fabulous jungle scenes, but they teach children about kindness, acceptance and generosity too. You don’t have to be different to be special, says Elmer at the end of this lovely story, an important message for all. He’s been busy looking for Baby Elephant’s teddy, lost in the jungle. Not only does Elmer happily give up his time but he lends Baby Elephant his own much-loved teddy until the lost bear can be found. The story is full of incident as the hunt takes Elmer far and wide, and there’s a funny surprise at the end as he finally discovers the lost bear, and it appears – temporarily at least - that it can speak. Elmer rules! ~ Andrea Reece
Elmer the much-loved patchwork elephant is in a particularly playful mood in this story. His young friend Rose is humming a catchy tune, and soon all the animals are singing along. In fact, the tune is so catchy, they just can’t get it out of their heads. Fortunately, Elmer comes up with a solution. Whether Elmer is an old friend, or they are meeting him for the first time, young children will love this typically funny and surprising story. David McKee’s illustrations always dazzle, and his jungle is as vibrant and busy as ever. ~ Andrea Reece
Elmer is in charge of the young elephants in this special adventure, taking them up out of the jungle to find a Christmas tree. They have great fun decorating it and that night Elmer gathers them together again to hide and wait for Papa Red. There’s great excitement among the little elephants when they see him! Papa Red takes away the presents they have left to deliver to those who need them most, but leaves them little presents of their own. Elmer signifies tolerance and a generosity of spirit, so he’s the perfect Christmas guest and as ever McKee’s illustrations and text work their magic together to delight young readers. ~ Andrea Reece
As fresh and vogueish today as when he make his first appearance over 35 years ago, Elmer continues to enchant children. He’s bright enough to catch the eye of even the very youngest and this sturdy new board book, with its special mirror feature, offers lots of opportunities for early learning fun and games. There’s a peek-a-boo challenge on each page as Elmer goes in search of his new friend – which on the last page turns out to be you! The jungle scenes are as bold and vibrant as Elmer, and the warm tones and happy cast of animal characters will brighten up every day. ~ Andrea Reece
There are all sorts of treats and surprises in this bright, lively interactive board book. Starring everyone’s favourite patchwork elephant Elmer, it’s a riot of colour and shapes, while on each page there’s a sturdy flap for little hands to lift, revealing one or more of Elmer’s friends. David McKee’s illustrations are irresistible and Elmer is one of the most recognisable as well as one of the friendliest characters in children’s books; this chunky board book will develop children’s appreciation of colour, shape and story as well as their motor skills. ~ Andrea Reece
The wonderfully colourful story of Elmer the patchwork elephant has been a nursery favourite since this first book was published in 1989. A modern classic, the story of Elmer is known to millions, and continues to be one of the biggest selling children's books ever, having sold over 2 million copies around the world. The subtle message is that it is OK to be different, and combined with the vibrant colour and cheeky humour of the main character, it’s an essential bedtime story. Included with this new picture book edition is a cd of the story.
Elmer is one of the most distinctive and easily recognisable characters in children’s books and here he and his friends provide the very youngest readers with a perfect introduction to colour. On each page of this sturdy little board book there’s a brightly coloured elephant, a yellow one, blue one, purple one and green one, each clearly labelled. The last spread brings them together with Elmer, proudly patchwork as ever, in an elephant rainbow. The parade of bright, frolicsome little elephants are a treat to look at and will fascinate young children. A handy clip and strap means this can be attached to a buggy. ~ Andrea Reece
Who better than Elmer the elephant and his creator David McKee to introduce children to wild animals? This sturdy little board book features a parade of Elmer’s friends in vivid, lively character sketches by McKee. There’s a giraffe, crocodile, monkey and quizzical looking lion, while on the last page is a smiling Elmer, in all his patchwork glory. Clearly labelled, the animals will hold the attention of even the very youngest and David McKee’s artwork dazzles even in this small format. A handy clip and strap means this can be attached to a buggy. ~ Andrea Reece
If your local bookshop or library is not yet signed to Elmer Day up then get them motivated. They can sign up to receive an Elmer Day Event Pack by registering at www.andersenpress.co.uk/elmer. The pack will include a guide on how to hold an Elmer Day event plus stickers, posters and activity sheets.
Elmer, the delightful and delightfully different elephant was an instant hit when he burst out of his first picture book in 1989. His amazing patchwork skin has taken him on some incredible adventures and taught children about tolerance and love and just being yourself.
Elmer the patchwork elephant was created by David McKee in 1989. Elmer’s iconic look and playful character has made him a firm favourite in millions of households across the globe with over 8 million books sold worldwide and 4.5 million in the UK alone. They have been translated into over 50 languages around the world, from Russian to Rumantsch, Luxembourgish to Indonesian.
Have you seen Elmer’s Photo Patchwork, an innovative activity-based app that encourages creativity and fun? Elmer the Patchwork Elephant is an elephant who stands out from the herd, and Elmer’s app is different too. It doesn’t keep children glued to the screen, it makes them look up, look around and get inspired by the world. The only limit is their imagination. By using an iPad or iPhone’s camera to take photos of interesting colours and textures, kids can add them to an elephant’s patchwork pattern. Aimed at children aged 3+. Elmer’s Photo Patchwork app is available for £1.99 from the App Store for iPad and iPhone. Find out more at www.elmersapps.com and view the app preview video here.
Elmer's creator, David McKee, is one of the UK’s leading contemporary children’s book illustrators. His books are published throughout the world, and many of them have been adapted for television. Apart from lots of Elmer stories other creations of his include Not Now, Bernard!, Isabel’s Noisy Tummy, The Conquerors, Tusk Tusk and Three Monsters. David Mckee now divides his time between London and the south of France.
Find out more, play games and downloads pictures and colouring sheets at www.andersenpress.co.uk/elmer