Monday, April 29, 2013


McKee, David. Elmer and the Birthday Quake. London: Andersen Press, 2013. ISBN: 978-1-4677-1117-3.

Fans of David McKee’s patchwork elephant will enjoy the colorful characters of his newest addition to the series, Elmer and the Birthday Quake. Elmer takes a back seat in the tale when his friend Super El is better suited for the task of rescuing a 100-year-old elephant (appropriately named “Old”) from a dangerous cliff top. Super El, a smallish pachyderm in a spandex (I’m assuming) superhero suit, will delight his fans with his eager and decisive heroics. Not only is he a quick and confident hero, he teachers Elmer and the other elephants to seize the day.

As colorful as ever, McKee’s illustrations are delightful and bold. In addition to his visually diverse jungle layouts, a radiant herd of pink elephants make an appearance.

Following in the tradition of providing his reader with a bit of counsel (in Elmer celebrating individuality is the lesson), McKee’s book is a lighthearted tale that pokes at the reader to consider taking an active role in making the most of their days.

Kelsey Wadman

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