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Elmer the Patchwork Elephant facts for kids

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Elmer the Patchwork Elephant
Book cover for Elmer the Patchwork Elephant

Author David McKee
Illustrator David McKee
Language English
No. of books 39 (List of books)

Elmer the Patchwork Elephant (often shortened to Elmer) is a children's picture book series by the British author David McKee.

The books

Elmer was first published by Dobson Books in 1968, and re-issued with re-drawn illustrations in a slightly shortened version by Andersen Press in 1989. It was inspired by the mascot of the Bordeaux zoo (which closed in 1974) in France. The books are published in the United Kingdom by Andersen Press and were published in the United States by Harper Collins originally, Andersen press USA now publishes in America. Thirty-nine book titles have been created since 1989, and the series has sold more than eight million copies in fifty languages around the world. Satoshi Kitamura carried out the Japanese translation.


Elmer the Patchwork Elephant also features in a wide range of merchandising. His first story is also featured and animated in Anytime Tales, a storytelling animated programme narrating five of David McKee and Tony Ross' stories. The story of Elmer was originally narrated by British voice actor Johnny Morris, who died on 6 May 1999, aged 82. Sophie Aldred also read his first story which was also animated by Mike Hibbert in an episode of Words and Pictures from 1993, featuring the letter E.

Musical stage

A musical stage version created by Jonathan Rockefeller was adapted by Suzanne Maynard Miller, with songs by Allison Leyton-Brown. After an initial engagement in Toronto (December 2017), Elmer the Patchwork Elephant show embarked upon a tour of the UK January 2019.


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