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Elmer Again by David McKee
I think this is the second book written about Elmer the patchwork elephant.
In the first Elmer story the elephants decide to have an Elmer day when they all colour themselves in bright colours and patterns and Elmer is the only grey elephant, because he colours himself grey. In this story, it is two days before the Elmer parade and Elmer is bored. He goes for a walk and when he sees his reflection in the water he has an idea. Armed with this idea he returns to the herd of elephants and whispers something to one of the elephants. At this stage, anyone who has "met" Elmer before will know he is up to some kind of trick...he loves playing jokes on the other elephants and can't stand it when he thinks things are boring.
At night time, Elmer moves around the other elephants and when he has finished he sleeps in another part of the forest. Some children do guess what he has done- painted all of the other elephants Elmer colour so that when they wake up in the morning, they are all saying "Good Morning Elmer" to each other.
They realise that it is an Elmer trick and so rush into the water to wash off their colours and see who the real Elmer is. When all the elephants are grey again, a grey elephant says that he is Elmer but the other elephants are sad when they think that Elmer will be the same as the rest of them. Elmer suggests that he runs into the water where the colours from the other elephants are still floating around. He runs through the water to the other side and appears on the other side of the water in all his own colours. The elephants are delighted and start to chant Elmer's name.
When a grey elephant appears next to elmer pretending to be Elmer the other elephants realised that he was working with Elmer to play a trick on them because they knew that Elmer's colurs could never be just washed off. They all laugh and run into the water together.
Happy feel good ending- we like that!
~~Other bits of information~~
Publisher: Red Fox
Published: 1991 by Anderson Press
~~Other books by the same author~~
There are now lots of Elmer books around including:
Elmer and Wilbur
Elmer and the Lost teddy
Elmer's New Friend
There are also many additional products relating to Elmer which can be bought. Whilst I do like the Elmer stories, I would recommend people are careful and don't go for "Elmer overload"- just because children have enjoyed hearing a couple of the books doesn't mean their every toy and book needs to be Elmer
Children don't seem to tire of the brightly coloured and quite odd looking elephant who is Elmer and there must be many displays throughout the country as testimony to the fact that the books are read in school.
This is a cheerful book, with a happy ending. It has quite a good feel good factor which we like, and children often see the humour in the story- the two elephants collaborating with each other to trick the other elephants.
The pictures are cheerful with backgrounds clearly depicting the differences between night and day, and the expressions on the elephants faces clearly show us how they are feeling.
There is just enough text usually at the side of each double page spread; anyone reading the story won't feel bogged down by storyline. However, the story is such that it does hold the interest of children who are past the very young picture books- I have read this on many occasions to Year 2 children (6 and 7 year olds) and they understand the humour, and are kept interested in what will happen next.
Another goodie featuring Elmer, which I would recommend.
Thanks for reading.
Elmer, the joking, multi-coloured elephant, is back - this time playing a practical joke on his friends which involves painting them all Elmer-coloured and himself grey. The only way to tell which is the real Elmer is to get them to swim in the river.