Elmer, by David Mckee, is the story of a happy, colorful, patchwork pachyderm who decides that he would rather be the same color as the other elephants, than his colorful stand-out self. After he rolls in berry juice, masking his beautiful colors, none of the animals in the forest recognize him, and neither do any of the elephants. Life is boring. After rain washes off the berry juice, Elmer is his self once again. All the animals, including the elephants, say “Hi” to him, and he is happy being himself.
This modern fable is appropriate for ages 4-8, and is a celebration of individuality and laughter. It teaches children to embrace differences; to learn about themselves and have fun doing it. Elmer also teaches the young child about colors and animals, and can be an inspiration for art projects and creative movement.
One of my Preschool Yoga class themes is based on the book Elmer, and it has become a favorite. The vivid illustrations of the animals and vegetation, the colorful and comical pictures of Elmer, and the exciting story, capture the children’s attention. After reading the story, we all perform yoga poses inspired by the story, including all the animals Elmer meets, and add marches and parades waving colorful scarves. To end this yoga class we relax to the song “Colors” by Kira Willey from her CD Dance for the Sun:Yoga Songs for Kids.
David Mckee created Elmer the Patchwork Elephant, thus the book Elmer, in 1968. This became the first in a series of 22 Elmer books, including:
- Elmer, Again
- Elmer and the Kangaroo
- Elmer and the Monster
- Elmer and the Hippo
- Elmer and the Flood
The Elmer Franchise has sold over 7 million books worldwide, and in 50 languages.
READ, ENJOY, DO SOME YOGA POSES, BE COLORFULLY CREATIVE!