by David McKee
Elmer is a multicoloured elephant who loves practical jokes, and he lives happily among a grey herd. One day, however, he decides that he doesn’t want to be different anymore, because he mistakenly observes the other elephants laughing AT him, so he sets off to find a way to change.
Elmer learns that the other elephants are actually dull and boring and serious without him and need his multicoloured personality to make them laugh, and that they love him for his uniqueness! They set up a day to celebrate Elmer’s unique appearance and personality by painting themselves in multi-coloured paint and patterns while Elmer paints himself grey.
We based our discussion on this book in our Book Club Hour at Thorntree Prep today, with the main idea, “being different”. The foundation phase students were very lively and chanted that the rain should come down to wash Elmer clean to show his true colours – they insisted that “you should just be yourself and not try to hide it” – little superstars they are!
The students learned:
- that it is OK to be different
- to recognize yourself as a unique individual
- to recognize others as unique individuals
- to build an appreciation for similarities and differences in people
- to develop an understanding of the importance of diversity in a community
Elmer is the first in a series of many picture books (adventures) of which the latest release is Elmer’s Birthday (2019) (in celebration of Elmer’s 30th birthday! – Elmer day was celebrated on Saturday, 25 May 2019, when Elmer turned 30!).
Elmer has also teamed up with anti-bullying charity Kidscape to encourage younger children to take part in Friendship Friday this November!
Schools can download the free Early Years resource pack here.