Monday, 23 June 2014

Elmer-mania: our favourite elephant is 25 years old!

Did you know that Elmer the patchwork elephant is celebrating his 25th birthday this year?! This classic childrens' book, created by multi-talented David McKee, is one of the most widely read books for children in the UK. This colourful series has sold over 7 million copies since its publication in 1989 at Andersen Press. That's a lot of happy children.
Elmer has been such a big part of my children's lives, that he's almost a member of our family.



We first fell in love with him when our older son was a little boy. He absolutely adored the series, and I kept buying all the books as well as toys. Our first Elmer book is a battered veteran, it has been chewed, torn and scotch-taped, but I treasure it as this is the book which my kids and I enjoyed reading again and again.
Sasha is 12 now, but having autism, he doesn't feel he should be moving on and abandoning his old favourites. Nowadays he's as happy listening to me reading an Elmer book as he's watching a Fifth Gear video on Youtube.
If anything, quite often when I read to my younger son before bedtime, Sash would tag along and sit with us on the bed, listening to one of the wonderful Elmer stories which he has most likely heard hundreds of times.
When my younger son picks up a book to read before bedtime, there are times when I inwardly groan "Not again", but with Elmer books I never get tired of reading them aloud because I love the stories and marvellous illustrations so much.
And Eddie is very fond of Elmer books as well. Some of them I read so many times, that I can recite them by heart.

Our Elmer collection (incomplete in this photo)


We are such Elmer enthusiasts, that we've got not only books and toys, we have an Elmer rug, Elmer framed art print, a couple of years ago I painted an Elmer mural in my younger son's bedroom and also decorated his room with stickers, and even made an Elmer pancake once (as you can see from my blog header).
Imagine my delight, when we were offered a selection of Elmer-anniversary-themed products and a new book to review. Yippee, what could be more exciting?!

We received a lovely Elmer creative activity pack with colouring sheets, which my little man is working on.
We read a new book "Elmer and the Monster" (watch this space for a separate book review) and appreciated it.



Eddie is a big fan of puzzles, and he was very pleased to play with a new Elmer Floor Puzzle.



This 24 piece puzzle comes in a sturdy box with a red rope handle. The pieces are chunky and perfect for little hands. It is double-sided. One side is a colourful illustration from Elmer and the Lost Teddy, with Elmer and Wilbur finding the lost teddy (by the way, this is one of my own personal favourite books in the series, a perfect read before bedtime). The other side is a black and white colouring sample of Elmer, for your little people to colour in.



Elmer Colouring Felt Pens is a set of 6 felt pens in a lovely storage box. Each pen is double ended, so you have 12 colours in total to colour in Elmer and his magic world.



Elmer Tabard is perfect for little artists or chefs. You can wipe it clean easily. Eddie thought he looked like a musketeer.



Elmer Snowglobe is a delightful souvenir for the Elmer fans of all ages. Shake the snow globe, and the sparkly stars float around the elephant. Tilt it to the side, and the reflection makes it look like there are two Elmers inside. Pure magic! What's more, there is an insert on the other side for your own photo, so you can make it personalised. How smart is that?


Eddie loved all the Elmer goodies but the snowglobe made him giddy with joy.


If you love Elmer and would like to wish him a happy birthday, how about decorating an Elmer mask from Andersen Press? Go on, you know you want to join the Elmer's Day parade! (<--follow this link to download lots of colouring sheets and create your own Elmer mask).

After all, in Elmer's Special Day Elmer said:
"Let's begin... From now on everyone can join in the Elmer's Day Parade... as long as they wear an elephant mask! This will be the best elephant parade ever!"
"And everyone", said Elmer, "means everyone!"



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