Newest Review: ... another voice and thinks it is just Wilbur again, until he sees a small butterfly, trapped inside a hole under a huge branch that has fa... more
Funny Coloured Elephants & A Butterfly
Elmer and the Butterfly - David McKee
Member Name: belfin
Elmer and the Butterfly - David McKee
Advantages: Teaches children the importance of helping others
As well as being the author of many Elmer books, David McKee is also the creator Mr Benn and King Rollo, which I'm sure many of the older generation reading this review, will remember.
My son loves the Elmer book and this is just the latest in a long line that he chose from the library at nursery last week. For those of you who have not seen Elmer before, he is a brightly coloured patchwork elephant who lives in the jungle with all his friends.
This story has a touch of Aesops fable about it and it's not difficult to see the resemblance to The Lion and The Mouse.
In this book though, the story starts with Elmer having his usual walk through the jungle when he hears a voice that he thinks in coming from high up in the trees. Really it is just his cousin Wilbur playing a trick on him and they both have a good laugh.
As Elmer walks further on he hears another voice and thinks it is just Wilbur again, until he sees a small butterfly, trapped inside a hole under a huge branch that has fallen. He quickly moves the branch and the butterfly tells him that if he is ever in need of rescuing then Elmer should call on him right away. Elmer laughs a bit at this as he thinks the idea of a butterfly being able to rescue a big elephant is quite amusing.
Of course you then know that something is bound to happen and Elmer finds himself trapped in a cave down a steep cliff, after the pathway has crumbled and fallen away. His friends are too far away so he calls on the butterfly that gathers up all his friends to go and save him. Wilbur heads the rescue and drops a creeper for Elmer to tie around himself before they all pull him up.
Elmer is very grateful to the butterfly and is then shocked to hear a voice coming from the cave. Of course it is only Wilbur up to his tricks again and as in all good Elmer books, the other elephants think they should tickle him to teach him a lesson.
In this book we see that it is not only Elmer who is differently coloured, as Wilbur is also patchwork but in only black and white. As with all the Elmer books, the colours and patterns on plants and trees are amazingly detailed and this book is certainly good at catching the eye of a young child.
I've been a fan of these books for a long time now and my son is captivated by both the funny stories and the gorgeous illustrations. In this story we are treated to a slightly different version of the Aesop fable where a mouse does a lion a favour by getting a thorn from his paw. The story may be different but the theory is just the same and this is great for showing a child that by doing a good deed for someone is a way of making a good friend who may help you in the future.
The unlikely scenario of a butterfly helping out an elephant is not as silly of course as a herd of elephants dropping a creeper down the side of a cliff, before pulling another elephant to safety, but as with all the Elmer stories, it works really well.
My favourite bit of the book though is right at the end when they all decide to try to tickle Wilbur for his tricks. It's just a shame that Wilbur is already running away to safety.
***Other Elmer Books***
Elmer's Hide and Seek
Elmer and the Wind
Elmer and Snake
Elmer and Wilbur
Elmer and Grandpa Eldo
Look! There's Elmer
Elmer in the Snow
Elmer and the Lost Teddy
***Price and Availability***
The price of the paperback copy we have is £4.99 but it is available for the cheaper price of £3.96 at www.dvd.co.uk. It is also available in hardback for £9.99 but is available from Tesco for only £6.49
Paperback ISBN No. 0099439689
Hardback ISBN No. 1842701045
Summary: It's another Elmer delight.