Elmer and Papa Red by David McKee

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Elmer and Papa Red by David McKee

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Jo Heffer
Reviewed by Jo Heffer
Summary: Most children will know of Elmer, the delightful patchwork elephant who was created by David McKee and stars in his own series of picture books. In Elmer and Papa Red there is a Christmas theme which is bound to get Elmer and all the young elephants excited as they await a very special visit.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: September 2010
Publisher: Andersen
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1849391979

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Elmer and Papa Red is a lovely picture story book that features some very excitable elephants. It is only two days before the visit of Papa Red and all the young elephants are so excited that they can hardly contain themselves. Elmer takes them for a walk to fetch the big tree whilst the older elephants make the preparations. They have a great time especially as they see snow for the first time and that leads to a great deal of fun and frolicking. Once the tree is brought home it is decorated and surrounded by lots of presents and the young elephants hide so that they might catch a glimpse of Papa Red. He duly arrives out of the sky on a sleigh pulled by six moose. Surprisingly though, rather than the sleigh being laden it is empty until Papa Red loads it up with all the presents under the tree. The elephants have all seen him taking the presents but instead of being upset, they are excited as they know that he is taking them to those who need them most! As they fall asleep exhausted though, Elmer delivers one small gift to each elephant – especially left by Papa Red.

My five year old daughter really enjoyed this story and I particularly liked the twist with the presents being collected and not delivered. I thought it could be a very useful book to share with children who write long and demanding Christmas lists as this is a good reminder that Christmas is also the season of giving. My daughter thought it was a lovely idea that Papa Red was taking the presents to the most needy.

With its strong message, this is a great book to read with young children and there is also a lot of humour. It is a nicely self contained story that is not too long and is likely to have a wide appeal. The young elephants are quite charming as they squeal with laughter playing in the snow and asking Elmer so many questions. There is a great innocence in the way that they hide from Papa Red believing that he does not know that they are there. David McKee's illustrations that accompany the story are utterly irresistible too. He really captures the energy and the playfulness of the young elephants and it is a lot of fun to spot all their different antics in the snow.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

My seven year old daughter read the book to herself and although she told me that she enjoyed it, she thought it was more suitable for younger children who love Elmer and who love Christmas. I think she is probably right! If they enjoy this, they are likely to want to read other Elmer stories such as Elmer and Grandpa Eldo or Elmer on Stilts.

Buy Elmer and Papa Red by David McKee at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Elmer and Papa Red by David McKee at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Elmer and Papa Red by David McKee at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Elmer and Papa Red by David McKee at Amazon.com.


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