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Elmer by David McKee

Elmer (1968)

by David McKee

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All of the other elephants are elephant-colored, but Elmer is a bright patchwork. He makes all the other elephants laugh, but he's worried they're laughing AT him, not WITH him. He goes away and finds a bush with elephant-colored berries on it; he disguises himself with berry juice and returns to the other elephants, blending in. But he can't help playing a joke, and his real identity is revealed when it starts to rain.

The illustrations are rather flat; there isn't much depth between foreground and background. The flora and fauna are quite interesting, though; the plants particularly have various colors and shapes. Non-elephant jungle animals (lion, zebra, giraffe, etc.) are friendly to Elmer - who they call by name - and friendly to Elmer-in-disguise, who they just call "elephant."

A gentle book that carries a message about accepting your own acceptance. ( )
  JennyArch | Dec 2, 2014 |
Elmer is about an elephant who stands out from all the other elephants in his herd due to his patchwork colored body. Since Elmer is always the center of jokes and is constantly picked on, Elmer finds a way to blend in. At the end of the book, Elmer realizes how much he loves being different and becomes happy with himself. This book is great for all elementary grade levels. Using this book, I was able to teach a lesson on diversity and acceptance to a 4th grade class. ( )
  MeghanChun | Sep 12, 2014 |
Elmer the elephant is a bright, multicolored, patchwork patterned elephant living among plain gray colored elephants. The other elephants pick on him and laugh at him, so Elmer tries to find ways to blend in. In the end, he realizes that he’s happy being himself. This could be used in the classroom to discuss how the author/illustrator incorporated art into his character and how it impacted the story. ( )
  eilawest | Jun 17, 2014 |
Elmer is an adorable book to teach young children about how being different is ok. It focuses on Elmer, a patchwork colored elephant surrounded by normal colored elephants. He feels that the other elephants are making fun of him for his differences, so he attempts to disguise himself as a normal elephant by painting over his natural colors. However, he soon realizes that life as a normal elephant is not the same and eventually realizes that his differences should be celebrated. I could see this book being used to start a discussion about why it might feel strange to be different, but also why differences could be good. For younger students, I could also tie this in with an art project where they decorate “Elmer elephants”.
  cseiger | May 21, 2014 |
SUMMARY-This book is about Elmer the Patchwork Elephant who wants to be like all the other elephants as far as how he looks. He realizes that even though he changed his color he is still the same.

PERSONAL REACTION- I thought this was a good book, it teaches us that we may all look different we are all the same. We all bleed red. It is not what is on the 'outside' but what is on the 'inside' that matters.

EXTENSION IDEAS- You could use this in the classroom for an Art lesson, because of the many various colors Elmer has on him. You could use this as a life lesson also, to treat all people the same no matter who they are.
  PauletteHernandez | Feb 12, 2014 |
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There was once a herd of elephants.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0688091717, Hardcover)

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.

Elmer the elephant, a colorful character because of his patchwork hide and sense of humor, tries to blend in with the herd, but soon realizes that he's happiest just being himself. "McKee's gentle humor and love of irony are in full force in this celebration of individuality and laughter." -- Publisher's Weekly.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:59:38 -0400)

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All the elephants of the jungle were gray except Elmer, who was a patchwork of brilliant colors until the day he got tired of being different and making the other elephants laugh.

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