Elmer, the plaid elephant, is a familiar creature to many young people. In this board book, he offers help with counting from 1 to 10. The illustrations are more cartoony than serious and there is even a bit of humor. Two crocodiles are laughing so hard that they are shedding tears. There are three Tigers who look like they could try out for the Rockettes. Four lions are sleeping and five elephants are playing near a tree. The butterflies resemble some that I have seen (green and brown), but are more imaginative than realistic. The frogs have silly expressions and the fish offer considerable variety. Finally at number nine there is a bunch of running a rabbits and the count closes with 10 birds in a tree singing away. The book is nothing special, but if you like Elmer beware that he appears on the cover and one page. Do not expect to see him on each page in this book. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot
Elmer the elephant lumbers through this nondescript counting book. Mostly unrelated animals accumulate from one through 10, starting with "ONE smiling elephant." The individual numerals are set apart in colored circles on each page and are repeated, spelled-out and capitalized, in the brief phrases. Oddly for a book featuring a crazy-quilt elephant, the animals' colorings vary widely in interest. Fish flaunt their polka dots and stripes, but the frogs and birds are monochromatically boring by comparison. Body language provides some whimsy in the otherwise straightforward compositions. The tigers hold hands and kick their legs in an exuberant dance; four lions sprawl on a rock, one gazing at the stars with arms behind his (they are all male) head. Companion Elmer's Opposites is similarly drab, with examples varying in effectiveness. "BLACK is BLACK. / WHITE is WHITE. / Wilbur is BOTH!" Wilbur the checkerboard elephant strides off the page in the picture. Elmer's silhouette forms the shaped cover of each book. There is nothing special here. (Board book. 6 mos.-2)
Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 0.50 (d)
Meet the Author
Ever since his first book was published in 1964, David McKee has been one of the leading contemporary children's book creators. His books are published in numerous languages throughout the world, and many of his books have been adapted for television. He is best known as the creator of Elmer, the patchwork elephant. He now divides his time between London and the south of France.