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Elmar (Elmer)

4.2 of 5 stars 4.20  ·  rating details  ·  7,182 ratings  ·  235 reviews
Elmer the elephant is bright-colored patchwork all over. No wonder the other elephants laugh at him! If he were ordinary elephant color, the others might stop laughing. That would make Elmer feel better, wouldn't it? The surprising conclusion of David McKee's comical fable is a celebration of individuality and the power of laughter.
Gebundene Ausgabe, 32 pages
Published July 1st 1989 by Thienemann Verlag (first published January 1st 1989)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Stuck in a toy-shop in German-speaking Bern on Saturday, I picked up a copy of Elmar and tried to read it. My German is very uncertain, so I don't guarantee that I understood everything. Here's a tentative plot summary:

Elmer Goes Mainstream

Elephants are notoriously unimaginative, and quietly proud of their drab, gray conformity. But every now and then, you get an exception. Elmer was just such an elephant. A natural rebel and iconoclast, this was reflected even in his pigmentation, which was a b
Emma Long
The story of Elmer has always been a memorable one. From my own memories of the story from when I was little it has always held a strong yet familiar moral message.

Elmer is an elephant with a patchwork body of a variety of colours. He is a cheerful and optimistic character. However, when Elmer changes his appearance to fit in to his surroundings he is no longer recognisable by the other elephants. Of course this makes Elmer sad that he is no longer accepted and begins to understand how it feels
This book was given to my son as a gift and what a fabulous book it was. It touches on the want to be accepted because of similarities rather than being unique. Therefore with this in mind, the book cleverly highlights some important themes. Rings alarm bells for me and my son!
Elmer is a patchwork elephant living among grey elephants and provides fun and laughter. He is unique, but does not see it. He decides to cover his colourful patchwork with elephant berries because he thinks that the grey
Elmer is a wonderful children's story with the underlying message that it is alright for everyone to be different and that we all possess unique qualities. I shared this book with Nursery children who were deeply engrossed by Elmer and his great patch work.

The primal focus of the story is on ‘Elmer ‘who is an elephant that does not resemble the other elephants in his herd. They are all grey – whereas he is remarkably dissimilar with patchwork with lots of different colours! Although Elmer keeps
Elmer is the story of an elephant that is noticeably different to the others; he is a brightly coloured patchwork elephant. However Elmer did not want to be different to the other elephants as they laughed at him, so he tried to make himself ‘elephant colour’ like the others. After hatching a plan and rolling around in berry juice to make himself ‘elephant colour’ Elmer decides that being part of the crowd is too boring and realises that being different isn’t so bad after all. At the end of the ...more
Hassan Ali
Book review 3 - Elmer – David McKee

As soon as you see this book, you will definitely judge it by its front cover. The story is about an elephant called Elmer, who is unique, and very different from all the other elephants in the herd. Elmer is a patchwork of bright, rainbow colours but does not like the way he looks because it outcasts him from the herd. After, using numerous methods to disguise his patchwork of colours he begins to come to the conclusion that he believes it is silly to try and
Elmer is an elephant who has patchwork colourful body with yellow, red, orange, purple, pink, green, blue, white and black. He is a happy and optimistic elephant who loves practical jokes.
The story is for key stage 1 showing children how to identify different colours. Elmer tries to blend in with other elephants and change his appearance as no one can accept him. Elmer is sad but when it rains and the grey paint disappears Elmer’s true colours are revealed and everyone prefers him as a multi-co
Elmer by David Mckee is a story about an elephant who was covered in a patchwork of different colours. He always made the other elephants laugh and smile; they laughed with him and he always seemed the root of the fun. One night he could not sleep because he was thinking, he did not want to be a patchwork of colours, he wanted to be the same as everyone else. In the morning he takes a walk and finds a tree with ‘elephant coloured’ berries. He decides to cover himself with the juice of these grey ...more
Elmer by David McKee is an extremely amusing, colourful book with a lovely moral to it. It tells the story of a multi-coloured elephant who begins to feel self-conscious of not being the same as his entire herd. He wants to look the same as them. However, when he does this he finds out that the other elephants are unhappy without the ‘old Elmer’ so he becomes himself again and they are all much happier, including Elmer.
This is a great book for teaching young children about the differences betwee
Jacqueline Field
Elmer the Elephant by David McKee

Elmer the elephant is bout an elephant that is not elephant colored. He was patchwork with all the different colors of the rainbow. When Elmer used to go into the jungle the other elephants would stare and laugh at Elmer.
Elmer hated that he was different so one day he went to a tree that had berries that were elephant colored growing from it. He shook the tree till the berries fell off and rubbed himself all over with the berry juice until he became elephant co
Elmer is an elephant who is different from all the other elephants; he is not 'elephant coloured, he is a patchwork of bright colours. One night he lies awake thinking about how it doesn't like being different to all the other elephants in the herd. He doesn't like his appearance. He creeps off while the other elephants are still asleep and finds a bush full of berries which are grey in colour. He rolls around in the berries until his patchwork colours are covered in grey and..he looks like all ...more
Jusna Begum
Elmer is a fiction story about trying to fit in. Elmer is a patch worked elephant with a cheerful personality and loves to play practical jokes. In order to fit in with the rest of the elephants Elmer decides to change his appearance and paints himself grey, however this back fires and the rest of the elephants no longer recognise him. They ignore him and this makes Elmer sad. He experiences how it feels to be treated like an outcast. It starts to rain and the paint is washed away relieving Elme ...more
Jamila Kamal
"Elmer the elephant” by David Mckee is definitely one of my favourite childhood stories!! I remember reading this book and being drawn to the bright colours and the comical character of Elmer the elephant.

The story uses cheerful colours as Elmer is characterised as a friendly and funny multi-coloured patchwork elephant. Elmer recognises that he appears different from the other elephants, so he covers himself in grey coloured berries to blend in with the rest of the elephants. Elmer is no longer
This was one of my favourite books to read when I was a child. The story is about Elmer, a multicoloured patchwork elephant who didn’t look like the other elephants. He is a happy, funny elephant who is loved by all the elephants and other animals in the jungle. However, Elmer thinks that all the animals are laughing at him, and not with him, because he looks different. One day he decides that he no longer wants to be a colourful elephant that stands out so he covers himself in elephant coloured ...more
Anna Nerkowski
Elmer is a wonderful story that teaches children that everyone is different and to celebrate being unique. Elmer the elephant is not like all the other grey elephants... he is brightly coloured patchwork!

He is a very happy elephant who is liked by all. However, one day he decides that he wants to be just like all the other elephants. He uses berries to cover his entire body so that he is grey just like everyone else. He happily begins his journey home. As he walks past his elephant friends and
This is a book that will stand the test of time, evryone will enjoy the excellent colourful pictures, children can learn many colours as they read along as elmer the elephant has a colourful body arranged in patchwork. He has a cheerful colouful personality and loves to joke. This story explores themes and issues of diversity, Elmer reaslises when he tries to change his appearance in order to fit in with the other elephants, they no longer recognise him or accept him as one of thier own. which m ...more
Khalida wahid
Reading Elmer is one of my earliest memories off reading. I remember being drawn to the colourful front cover and wondering why an animal which is usually so very grey has been painted in a patchwork off all the colours off the rainbow, I couldn’t wait to open the book to find out. The story is intriguing and the illustrations are beautifully colourful.
Elmer is a book about a colourful patchwork elephant. Elmer is the heart and soul of all the animals. He makes them all laugh. However Elmer beco
Andrea Grima
The story is about an elephant that is different from other elephants because he is a patchwork of different colours. He has a great personality and is always making people laugh. The story goes n to tell how Elmer covers up his patchwork to make himself look the same as all the other elephants. Nobody recognises him, Elmer then shouts out loud and it begins to rain. The grey is washed off Elmer colourful patchwork is revealed. This book highlights the moral that no matter how hard you try to c ...more
This is my favourite book so far. I fell in love with it from the first picture - all the grey elephants standing together with a rich green background. It seems like oil pastel, but I'm not sure. I loved the colours though - the rich, bright colours and their combinations. And when I then turned the page to see Elmer, the patchwork elephant - I was utterly enchanted. A colourful patchwork elephant!

But it wasn't just the artwork that made me love this book. I loved the character of Elmer, and th
Katie Birtwistle
Elmer is a story I had heard of but never had the chance to personally read until my SBT1 placement. I was placed in a Reception class and we were basing our weekly topics on the termly topic 'Magical Me'.

This particular story came into relevance to help the children to celebrate cultural, physical and religious differences amongst themselves and be more appreciative of being different.

The story of Elmer is based on a multi-coloured elephant who wants to be brown like all the other elephants. H
Sarah Walsh
“Elmer was different. Elmer was patchwork. Elmer was yellow and orange and red and pink and….”

Elmer is a heart-warming, uplifting story of a young elephant that is different from all the other elephants in the herd. Unlike every other grey elephant in the herd, Elmer is a colourful, patchwork elephant. Like many young people, Elmer wishes he was the same as everyone else. One day he sets off to find a way to make himself a grey elephant. He succeeds with his wish but quickly realises that being

Elmer the Elephant is different to all the other elephants and because of this, he becomes sad, as the other elephants shun him, even though he has a cheerful personality. Elmer then tries to change his appearance to fit in with all his friends. However, when all the other elephants notice he is sad, they decide to all change their appearance so that Elmer doesn't feel left out! They reassure him that they they love him despite his looks.

I like this story as it introduces, in a child frien
Emer Mattimoe
Oct 20, 2011 Emer Mattimoe rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 4-6 year olds
Elmer has a very colourful and eye catching cover. Would be a useful book when cover topic such as colours. The story also contains some nice underlying morals running through it. The story is about an elephant that is different from other elephants because he is a patchwork of different colours. He has a great personality and is always making people laugh. The story goes n to tell how Elmer covers up his patchwork to make himself look the same as all the other elephants. Nobody recognises him, ...more
Elmer the elephant is a vibrant and colourful book which celebrates individuality and difference.

Elmer is a multi-coloured patchwork elephant who feels different from the rest of the herd, as he is not grey like them. In a bid to blend in he covers himself in 'elephant coloured berries'. However Elmer soon learns that he is most happiest as a colourful patchwork elephant; being himself.

The book ends with all the elephants commemorating Elmer's individuality by celebrating 'Elmer day'. On Elmer
If my son was an elephant, he would be an elephant like Elmer: yellow, orange, red, pink, purple, blue, green, black, white. So many times does he stress his multiple bright colors each time he pretends to be dog, or cat. But, Elmer does not take joy in being so colorful, because after all, who wants to be different?

I was probably expecting a silly story, but it's not. It's gentle and sensitive and my son was full of empathy for Elmer. In fact, I was surprised at how much he felt for him, right
Elmer the Elephants underlying theme is about celebrating differences. It is the story of a happy little elephant that is fed up because he isn't grey in colour like all the other elephants. One day he decides to play a practical joke on his friends and paints himself grey to be just like all the others in the herd. All goes well until it starts to rain...

I read this book to my Year 1 class purely for pleasure at the end of the day. In my SBT1 school there are over 40 different languages spoken
Razaak Ahmed
When scouring for books for my nephew, it was the vast array of colours on the front cover that drew my attention towards 'Elmer'. It is a book that is aimed towards very young children with its simple language, use of large pictures and shortness in length. Yet the message which the book aims to convey to the reader and the moral of Elmer's story is an extremely powerful one, which, in today's multifarious society is hugely celebrated. It is a message of inclusion and acceptance of all, regardl ...more
Mark Rasem
Elmer is the story of a coloured patchwork elephant who stands out amongst a group of other grey elephants. Often seen as a practical joker by his fellow elephants, one morning Elmer covers himself in grey paint in an attempt to try and fit in with all the other elephants. This turns out to be a short-lived experience for Elmer as the rain begins to fall and wash away the grey to reveal his natural, colourful appearence. This is seen by the other elephants to be Elmer's best trick to date and ce ...more
Samantha Ferrari
This book actually made me a little teary eyed. Elmer was misunderstood and he misunderstood the rest of the elephants. I think this book teaches a good lesson though, your best when your in your own skin. The colors in this book would eclectic and really expressed the mood of each scene.

Learning Experience: Every child should be comfortable in their own skin. Everybody is different, so as a learning experience I would as a teacher say "anyone wearing a blue shirt stand up" then everyone who is
This is a well known, funny story of a patchwork elephant named Elmer. Elmer feels he is different to all of the other elephants because of the way he looks and one day decides to cover himself in grape juice to 'fit in' and be the same as all of the other elephants. However, he soon learns that he'd rather be different than the same as everybody else. This book portrays an important message that it is okay to be different. It is your personality that is most important, not the way you look.
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For more information, please see http://en.wikip[2]
David McKee (born 2 January 1935) is a British writer and illustrator, chiefly of children's books and animations. He has used the pseudonym Violet Easton. He is frequently referenced as David (John) McKee.

For his contribution as a children's illustrator he was UK nominee for the biennial, international Hans Christian Anderse
More about David McKee...

Other Books in the Series

Elmer (1 - 10 of 29 books)
  • Elmer Again
  • Elmer On Stilts
  • Elmer and Wilbur
  • Elmer In The Snow
  • Elmer and the Kangaroo
  • Elmer And The Lost Teddy
  • Hide-And-Seek Elmer
  • The Elmer Pop-Up Book
  • Look! There's Elmer
  • Elmer and Grandpa Eldo
Not Now, Bernard Elmer's Special Day Elmer and Rose Elmer and Wilbur Elmer And The Lost Teddy

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