Elmer's Christmas

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Overview

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...

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Overview

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...

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Elmer the patchwork elephant leads his fellow elephants on a walk through the jungle and into the snow to pick out a Christmas tree. At home, the elephants hang decorations and excitedly place presents underneath the tree. Finally, Papa Red, a bearded elephant Santa, arrives and Elmer helps him load the presents into the sleigh. “This is the season for giving. We give and Papa Red takes the presents to whoever needs them the most,” Elmer explains to the young elephants. It’s a kindhearted message, but readers may still scratch their heads over Papa Red’s confiscation of the gifts under the tree. Ages 4–9. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Candace Deisley
Elmer, the patchwork elephant who is known from the series of books in which he is featured, is getting ready for Christmas. One of the older elephants asks him to take the young elephants for a walk so they can prepare the presents, and he is happy to do so. He takes them to get their holiday tree, which inspires the youngsters to ask him if they are going where Papa Red lives. They ask if he has seen Papa Red, and he replies that he has, so they ask him all about this wonderful character. After they have climbed and climbed the mountain to reach the pine trees, the younger elephants see snow for the first time in their lives. They are distracted from their questions, and play while Elmer chooses a tree that "would be easy to put back later." They return home and go to bed. The next morning, everyone helps decorate the tree and put presents all around it. They are all thrilled with the sight. That night, Elmer tells the children to hide so they can peek when Papa Red comes, which they do, and Papa Red thanks Elmer with a wink. The story concludes with Elmer's words, "This is the season for giving. We give and Papa Red takes the presents to whoever needs them the most." Of course, each child finds a gift the next morning. This is a wonderful lesson dressed in bright colors of gouache. Reviewer: Candace Deisley
Kirkus Reviews

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)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761380887
  • Publisher: Andersen Press USA
  • Publication date: 9/28/2011
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 884,231
  • Age range: 3 - 6 Years
  • Lexile: AD470L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.60 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

David McKee's first book was published in 1964. His books—including Elmer and Rose, Elmer's Special Day, and Elmer and the Hippos—are published in numerous languages throughout the world, and many of them have been adapted for television. He divides his time between London and the south of France.

David McKee's first book was published in 1964. His books—including Elmer and Rose, Elmer's Special Day, and Elmer and the Hippos—are published in numerous languages throughout the world, and many of them have been adapted for television. He divides his time between London and the south of France.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2011

    This is a delightfully charming story of Elmer, the patchwork elephant, and his "special" treat for the little ones.

    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.

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