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Elmer: David McKee

Book: Elmer
Author: David McKee
Pages: 32
Age Range: 3-6 (board book)

Harper Collins has issued a new 25th anniversary board book edition of David McKee's Elmer. This is a slightly over-sized board book, with a bright patchwork cover, and my four-year-old (meeting Elmer for the first time) was unable to resist it.

For those who have not made his acquaintance, Elmer is the story of a patchwork elephant who stands out from among the other elephants in his herd. Elmer stands out not just because of how he looks, but because of his happy-go-lucky nature. He makes the others laugh. However, fearing that the other elephants are laughing at him, rather than with him, Elmer decides to disguise himself. But not to worry - Elmer's true nature, and eventually his true colors, shine through in the end. 

There's a subtle message here about being yourself, of course. But I think that i has been around for 25 years because David McKee doesn't hit kids over the head with this message. Instead, he celebrates the delightful absurdity of a patchwork elephant, and the joy that all of the elephants have in witnessing a good joke. Elmer is also wonderfully bright and appealing for the youngest readers. At the end of the book, the elephants elephants decide to color themselves one day a year, in celebration of Elmer. The final spread is a riot of color and patterns. I challenge anyone to see it and not smile.

This new board book edition of Elmer would make pretty much a perfect holoiday gift for a toddler in your life, especially if accompanied by a stuffed Elmer. There's a reason that classics like this are still around. Elmer is a fun, bouncy sort of book, one with heart.  

Publisher: HarperFestival (@HarperChildrens
Publication Date: August 26, 2014 (this board book reprint edition)
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher

© 2014 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook. This site is an Amazon and iBooks affiliate, and purchases made through affiliate links (including linked book covers) may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).