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Elmer (Elmer Books) Hardcover – September 18, 1989


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Elmer (Elmer Books) + Elmer the Patchwork Elephant: Bean Bag by Kids Preferred + Elmer's Colors (Board Book)
Price for all three: $29.06

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Elmer the elephant is a colorful character. His heady optimism and unbridled sense of humor keep the entire community in a cheery mood. And Elmer's unusual multicolored checkerboard hide is the wonder of all the other elephants, who are characteristically gray. In spite of his sunny disposition, Elmer begins to feel conspicuous. He starts to believe the others are laughing at him because of his crazy patchwork coat. When Elmer discovers a bush in the jungle with elephant-colored berries, he shakes the bush and rolls in a berry mash until he is as gray as the others. Now no one seems to notice him; for a time he enjoys his anonymity, but after a while he begins to realize just how quiet and dull things are when he's not around. Finally the practical joker in Elmer emerges, and he soon has the whole gang laughing again. McKee's gentle humor and love of irony are in full force in this celebration of individuality and laughter. Well-designed spreads are washed with stunning color and the use of textured, painted and airbrushed surfaces contributes to the powerful visual impression. Ages 4-7.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

PreS—The story of the patchworked pachyderm, who just celebrated his 25th birthday, is now available in board book form. A new generation of children can traipse through the jungle with Elmer as he meets friends and learns to embrace his unique style. Though the text might be a tad long for toddler storytimes, the bright colors and comic facial expressions will charm young listeners. --This text refers to the Board book edition.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 500L (What's this?)
  • Series: Elmer Books
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1 edition (September 18, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688091717
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688091712
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 0.2 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,585 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 51 people found the following review helpful By MollyGrue on January 6, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My daughters and I love this book, but I subtracted a star because it is not quite the same story I expected. We checked it out of the library a couple times, then had to have our own edition. The story and illustrations are slightly changed. My daughters, ages 2 and 4, noticed the changes, and I think the story misses out a little.
For example, the library book starts with a bit booming sound in the jungle and all the animals are startled, but then we find out it's just the herd of the happy elephants who are laughing. The book I just bought begins saying "There was once a herd of elephants," but then it goes on to say that they were happy. Also, this edition does not have the bird who helps Elmer in covering himself with elephant-colored berries. Same story, but some very sweet details are missing.
I don't know why they've shortened the story; maybe they think children cannot stay focused for the longer version. In any case, I will be looking for an older edition, or maybe there's a current book with the same story.
Overall great book, but it has been better.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Britt Arnhild Lindland on September 12, 2001
Format: Hardcover
My five year old daughter and I have our favorite time of the day every evening when I am taking her to bed. Then we read, read, read and read. Both picture books and chapter books.
It is important to keep on reading picture books to the kids also when they outgrow the age of a toddler. There are so many great pictures and art in picture books that can help the children widening their horizont.
With four kids in the house we have a huge collection of children's books, and among them some absolute favorites. And Elmer belongs to this group.
Elmer the elephant is different from the other elephants in the jungle. While the others are ordinary grey he has patchwork colors, yellow, orange, red, pink, purple, blue, green, black, white - what a wonderful way to repeat colors over and over for a little human being.
But Elmer doesn't like to be different. He wants to be grey like the rest of the herd. Elmer finds a way to paint himself black, but to his, and to the young reader's surprise nobody recognizes him now when he is just as anybody else. Elmer is used to being seen, and has to do a trick to the others to be seen again. And the ending is in great honor to Elmer, the different one. And he has taught us a wonderful story about the importance of being the one you are meant to be, not to pretend being someone else.
The story has given us great opportunities to talk about the importance of being the one we are. We are created unique and our strength is in keeping this uniqueness.
The story has wonderful, simple paintings, bright colored. My five year old and I have alot of fun making an applique quilt of Elmer and his life. This book is a jewel either you have chidren or not.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 9, 1999
Format: Library Binding
I read this book for a childrens literature class at the college I attend. I WILL share this book with my students when I begin teaching because it teaches them the valuable lesson that Elmer learned. He was unhappy with who he was so he decided to change. All was fine until he realized who he was pretending to be wasn't himself. All children need the message: be yourself and be happy with yourself.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 23, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This Character and book demonstrate the most important message and that is to accept all that you are, especially if you don ot neatly fit into a "typical" category! I love Elmer and can't wait to give it to my nephews and nieces.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 29, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Elmer is a great book for children to learn to be themselves and to have fun doing it. It also teaches that, sometimes conformity isn't always the best way and that others can also see things from their perspective. Elmer is a great book for first time readers and for older readers to rediscover
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By boxwood100 TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 3, 2005
Format: Hardcover
If you've never encountered Elmer before, you have to get this book. David McKee has a wonderful sense of humor and these books are just hysterical. Elmer, with a patchwork coat, is the jester in a herd of elephants. But, he starts to feel like the only reason they laugh at his jokes is because of how he looks. So, off he goes to roll in some gray berries to cover up his coat and when he returns to the herd, they just think he's another elephant. Without him, they just stand there, are very serious, and have no fun at all. Somehow, Elmer thinks this is funny and just has to laugh so he says "Boo" and all the elephants jump about a mile. They start laughing and wish Elmer was there to hear the joke when it starts to rain and off comes Elmer's disguise. They all laugh at his wonderful jokes and are very happy he's there. It's just a great book, very colorful and very intriguing to read. My little one just loves Elmer, so much so that I'm going to have to go to B&N and get him a stuffed Elmer and Wilbur! These are great books and are destined to become a classic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By dakota7997 on March 15, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I have been reading this to my baby since he was 2 months old (now 6 months). It is a bit long for a baby book but he still sits thru and likes hearing the story and looking at the illustrations (surprising considering my little one is antsy). This book has wonderful photos and a good story- mainly about accepting and embracing your differences. Elmer the elephant is patchwork, unlike the others who are grey, and feels like he doesnot belong but by the end he learns that his differences are part of the great thing about him.
One thing that does bother me a bit is that Elmer is the 'class clown' so to say & am not sure if this teaches kids that if they are different they have to be a clown and act up??
But overall I do love this book & am glad it teaches to embrace our differences and that we don't have to conform & to accept people for who they are :) I think this book will continue to capture my child's attention for years to come!
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Elmer (Elmer Books)
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