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Elmer, the patchwork elephant, has been a favorite of children around the world for decades. It's Christmas, and the young elephants are very excited for Papa Red's annual visit! All the presents are ready, but this year Elmer has a special treat in store for the young elephants?if they can keep quiet and out of sight...
Elmer, the patchwork elephant, has been a favorite of children around the world for decades. It's Christmas, and the young elephants are very excited for Papa Red's annual visit! All the presents are ready, but this year Elmer has a special treat in store for the young elephants—if they can keep quiet and out of sight...
Elmer the patchwork elephant celebrates Christmas and the arrival of Papa Red, the elephantine equivalent of Santa Claus, in this quirky explanation of the origin of Christmas gifts.
As the little elephants in Elmer's herd eagerly anticipate Papa Red's annual visit, Elmer takes them off to look for a Christmas tree so the older elephants can "prepare the presents." Elmer and his charges return with a huge tree to decorate, which they plan to return after use. The whole herd and all their other animal pals decorate the tree together, piling a heap of wrapped presents underneath. On Christmas Eve, the young elephants hide behind tall plants (though readers can see their eyes and trunks peeking out), and they observe Papa Red's arrival in his sleigh (drawn by moose instead of reindeer). Elmer helps Papa Red load all the presents into the sleigh for delivery, and the story concludes with Elmer leaving one package from Papa Red next to each sleeping elephant. McKee's cheerful gouache illustrations in double-page-spread format have their usual naïve charm with flattened perspective and profile portraits of Elmer's animal friends.
Simple enough for younger preschoolers, but charming enough to please Elmer's devoted fans of any age.(Picture book. 3-6)
Posted August 20, 2011
There was excitement in the air as all the young elephants clustered together in anticipation of Papa Red's visit. No one could get anything done and so the older elephants asked Elmer to entertain them for a while so they could "prepare the presents in peace." There would be no peace and quiet with so many little elephants underfoot. Elmer decided that it would be the perfect time to go get the tree. The young wide-eyed elephants scampered behind him as their parents smiled as they sensed the excitement in the air. Even the little blue birds and the monkeys high above in the trees knew that it was a special time of the year. Soon Elmer, the patchwork elephant, and his little band of elephants could be seen walking uphill in search of a tree.
It wasn't long before the sights and sounds of the jungle turned into the quiet cold of the mountains. Snow covered pine trees awaited the little elephants who had never seen snow. They were so excited that "Papa Red was forgotten" as they cavorted in the snow. They turned this way and that and that way and this in the snow and even made snowballs and tried to build a snow elephant. Elmer got down to business and went to select a tree from a moose who said, "Let the young elephants see Papa Red tomorrow, but keep them hidden. We'll have a busy night ahead." Soon Elmer and the little elephants were seen carrying their tree down the mountain. There were so many preparations to be made for the special day, but would they actually be able to see Papa Red? Would he really come with a sleigh pulled with six moose with bells around their necks?
This is a delightfully charming story of Elmer, the patchwork elephant, and his "special" treat for the little ones. I've always been very fond of Elmer, but this is an especially adorable story as he takes over the task of keeping the little elephants out of sight as everyone prepares for Papa Red's visit. Of course Papa Red is the Santa Claus of the elephant world and he is coming to bring the little ones gifts on that one very special day of the year. The fabulously endearing artwork, rendered in gouache, catches the excitement of the little elephants as their eyes light up in anticipation of Papa Red's visit. Elmer's special treat is a story that you just might want to add to your list of special Christmas classics as this patchwork elephant is a classic in his own right!
This book courtesy of the publisher.