Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Elmar” as Want to Read:
Elmar
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Elmar (Elmer)

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  9,680 Ratings  ·  341 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)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Elmar, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Matt That uniqueness should be embraced for what it adds to life.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Jean
Dec 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jean by: Lisa Vegan
Elmer the very young elephant is just that little bit different. He lives with a herd of elephants. They might be young or old, tall or short, fat or thin. In fact there are many variations in how they look. But they are all the same colour. All except Elmer. Elmer is quirky. He is most decidedly not the same colour as the other elephants.

Elmer is a beautiful kaleidoscope of all sorts of colours. His body is a patchwork of yellow, orange, red, pink, purple, blue, green, black and white. His pers
...more
Ova Incekaraoglu
An absolute classic! My son loves it!
Lisa Vegan
Thanks to Wiebke, I’ve discovered my first Elmer book. I’m very grateful. This is a gift worthy book for new babies and for young children.

This is the first Elmer book, and there are many others. Unfortunately, my library has only a very few of the books, perhaps because they’re British books.

I am so surprised I’d never known of these books. This book was first published in 1968. I’d have thought I’d have come across them before now.

This story is charming and sweet, lighthearted, and very amusi
...more
Manny
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
...more
michelle
Jan 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
since this book is called "Elmar" in german (like my baby brother) I had to "read" this cute book hah hah.
Bogdan
Sep 11, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-kids
Coperta super glossy, format larg si generos, desene ok, colorit abundent, povestea nu prea m-a dat pe spate.

The cover of the romanian edition was very glossy, the format of the book is very large, the drawings are ok, it has a lot of colors, but the story wasn`t something that I would remember over time. :)
...more
Katie
Nov 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
I loved this book as a child and having reread it now, I still really enjoyed the story.

McKee's story is full of humour and joy. It celebrates diversity and encourages children to celebrate their differences. Elmer is a very likeable character with a huge sense of fun that children would definitely be able to relate to.

The book is filled with beautifully vibrant illustrations that help to bring the plot to life. There is a pretty high picture to text ratio but there is still quite a substantial
...more
Peter
Found this today while helping the girls do a bit of tidying. Good fun
Emma Long
Jul 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Alison
Oct 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Siobhan
Jan 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful read from my childhood, one I’d certainly suggest for other youngsters. Whilst it is not my all-time favourite childhood read I can still recall all the details of this one meaning it certainly left a lasting impression upon my young mind.

And isn’t that what we want with children’s books, for them to leave a positive lasting impression?
معصومه توکلی
عنوان ترجمه ی فارسی:
المر
Sandile
May 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Gail
Nov 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Sarah Walsh
Nov 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“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
...more
Zareen
Sep 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Fjóla
May 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 3 - 6 year olds
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
...more
Nadhira Ramadhani
Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-book
Even though I’ve seen this book at school during my volunteering placement, it was not one of the books I looked through straight away. When I finally did read the book, by the request of a very enthusiastic pupil, I regretted that I didn’t read this book sooner than I should. I must have judge this book by its cover, thinking that it might have been a jolly elephant with a colour patchwork just grazing the field and playing with his/her friends. After reading to the child, not explicitly showin ...more
Xiomara Vasquez

This story is about an elephant; Elmer is a different elephant, a special member of his pack. Elmer is not the color of the other elephants; his skin is yellow, red, orange, pink, violet, blue, green, black and white. This difference worries him and sometimes he cannot sleep, so one morning he decides that he wants to become a normal elephant and change the color of his skin, painting himself in gray like the rest of his friends.
Enchanted by his color Elmer will return to the pack, but it will o
...more
Corinne Creighton
Sep 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Elmer is a cute and delightful story explaining two important life lessons through an lovable elephant named Elmer. The life lessons told her are that it is ok to be different and that people love you for who you are. Elmer is an multi colored elephant in his herd compared to all the other elephants that are just plain. He finds a way to look just like all the other elephants and the other elephants begin to act forlorn. Elmer is then exposed and the elephants create a parade in his honor.
What o
...more
Fiona Hill
Oct 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picturebooks, ks1
Lovely story, showing children that it is our differences that make us special and that we should embrace them. Also, that it's our personality that makes us who we are not just what we look like.
Qazaal
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
برای بچهها المر بخونید تا تفاوتهاشون رو دوست داشته باشند. ...more
Rebekah Shuffle
Sep 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Elmer the Elephant is a fantastic book created around the theme of diversity and how it is good to be different. Elmer is an elephant whose skin is a variety of colors, in the book they described it as patchwork. Elmer is an extremely funny character and all elephant in the herd found Elmer hilarious. However Elmer wasn’t happy because he was so different and when all the elephants were just getting up Elmer slipped away into the jungle. He took a long walk into the jungle until he found what he ...more
Jamila Kamal
Jul 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"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
...more
Hajra Natha
Aug 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Elmer- By David McKee

Elmer the Elephant is not like the rest of the herd he lives with. Elmer has a brightly coloured patchwork skin and has a cheerful, bubbly and jokey personality that brings a smile to all the other elephants’ faces. He spends his time playing jokes and entertaining the other elephants and making them smile. However, deep down felt saddened that he was different to the other elephants as they all looked the same with their grey skins and he was so different with his coloured
...more
Jusna Begum
Jul 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jazel
May 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jacqueline Field
Aug 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Andrea
Jun 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Hassan Ali
Mar 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Elmer 1 2 Jan 20, 2017 01:50PM  
UEL Primary PGCE ...: Elmer the Elephant 1 5 Aug 18, 2014 03:22AM  
UEL Primary PGCE ...: Book Review 10 - Elmer 1 7 Aug 15, 2014 02:14AM  
UEL Primary PGCE ...: Book Review 2 - Elmer 1 6 Aug 13, 2014 03:47AM  
  • Kipper
  • Lavender's Blue
  • Tickle, Tickle
  • Good Night, Alfie Atkins
  • Old Bear
  • The Baby's Catalogue
  • Where's My Teddy?
  • Rosie's Walk
  • Meet Me at the Moon
  • Little Blue and Little Yellow
  • Cock-A-Doodle-Hoooo!
  • Mr. Gumpy's Outing
  • Can't You Sleep, Little Bear?
  • Maisy Goes to Preschool
  • Good Thing You're Not an Octopus!
  • Magic Box
  • Handa's Surprise: Read and Share
  • The Elephant and the Bad Baby
42 followers
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 Andersen Award in 2006.
More about David McKee

Other books in the series

Elmer (1 - 10 of 29 books)
  • Elmer Again
  • 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
  • Elmer's Concert