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Elmer's Special Day


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A celebration of inclusion, this stunningly colourful Elmer story is the best yet.

About the Author

David McKee's first book was published in 1964. His books are now published in many languages throughout the world, and many of them have been adapted for television. He is one of the leading contemporary children's book creators.


In this latest story to feature Elmer "the patchwork elephant," McKee subtly instructs readers on the making and keeping of friends. Deep in the jungle, the elephants are preparing for Elmer's Day, painting their hides in kaleidoscopic patterns (Elmer, in contrast, rolls around in brownish-gray "elephant-colored" berries "until he looked just like an ordinary elephant"). Although Elmer's Day sounds self-indulgent, the herd is enthusiastic-so enthusiastic that a lion, tiger, giraffe and other animals request peace and quiet. The jubilant elephants promise to hush, but like excited children, they can't help getting louder. Elmer solves the problem very simply: he invites all the animals to participate. Soon, "the other animals were just as messy and noisy as the elephants," and they even wear elephant masks to participate in the elephant parade. McKee illustrates in a loose, folk-art style. Elmer visually clashes with the foliage and his friends, and the whole enterprise exudes cheery, unassuming goodwill. The elephants' nonexclusive event provides a model for any peaceable kingdom. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

PreS-Gr 2-Elmer the patchwork elephant is back. Once a year the gray elephants decorate themselves and have a parade, and this story takes place on that day. The other animals are complaining about all of the noise made by the excited elephants as they prepare for the big event. Elmer recognizes the feelings for what they really are, jealousy, and he invites them to join in the celebration. McKee does a great job of creating the jungle environment and the festivities in vibrant, exciting colors. The textures and the patchwork-quilt look of the jungle will invite readers to take a closer look. The impact of the creatures coming together as a community to celebrate is a satisfying conclusion-everyone is having a great time and no one feels left out. A strong addition to the popular series.-Susan E. Murray, Glendale Public Library, AZ Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

"A special Elmer book, brilliantly bright and decorative. Great for growing reading prediction and confidence." -- Gill Roberts * Carousel *
"A deserved favourite with the 2-5s." * The Sunday Times *
"Every child should get to know Elmer the patchwork elephant." * Riveting Reads SLA 3-6 *
"Books featuring Elmer and his friends are universally acknowledged as essential for the nursery." * Julia Eccleshare - *
"This book is a wonderful celebration not just of the fun that can be had when everyone "all joins in" but also of Elmer's 20th birthday." * Lovereading4kids *

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