By: David McKee
Publisher: Andersen Press
Publication Date: August 2012
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: October 2012
Elmer, the patchwork elephant, and several other jungle critters were listening to his cousin, Wilbur as he tried to play his fabulous voice tricks. He could make his voice sound like it was a long, long way off even though he was right next to them. Elmer, a tiger, a crocodile, some bunnies, a lion, and the monkeys in the trees were all listening, but there was something wrong. All the little birds were missing. What could have happened to them? They all loved to listen to Wilbur when he made "his voice come from trees a long way off." Something was wrong, very wrong.
Elmer decided to go looking for them. "Yoo-hoo, birds. where are you?" All of a sudden a little blue bird came out from a cave and sat on the very tip of his trunk. It turned out that all the birdies were hiding from a BIG "nasty bully bird" who had been bothering them. Elmer said that he would talk to him, but no, it wouldn't do any good because that bully bird was just too nasty. He went to see the bully bird to talk to him and ask him not to scare the little ones, but he squawked, "Frighten them? They'll do as I say, or I'll do more than frighten them!" Elmer had an idea, but he needed everyone's help. Would they be able to stop that nasty bully bird or would he keep on bullying the little birds?
Elmer the patchwork elephant has a way of dealing with a bully bird that will delight the reader. Of course Elmer has turned into a classic and classy elephant that children around the world have fallen in love with. He is utterly charming and gentle, something that everyone adores, including the critters around him. Elmer does look a bit different than all the other elephants, but that makes him all the more special. He's very aware that this bully bird has been hurting the others and sends a message to children that bullying is simply not acceptable. The artwork is bright and bold and Elmer's crazy quilt look is especially appealing. If you have not yet made the acquaintance of Elmer, it's about time you did!
Quill says: If you want to meet a huggable lovable patchwork elephant named Elmer who doesn't put up with bullies, you'll love this book!