It's two days before Christmas Eve, the night Papa Red visits, and the young elephants are very excited. They choose a tree to decorate and prepare the presents for Papa Red to collect during the night to take to those who need them. But this year Elmer has a special treat in store for the young elephants, if they can keep quiet and out of sight...


David is the creator of several well-known characters including King Rollo and Mr Benn. His most famous creation is Elmer the Patchwork Elephant which is now published in more than 50 languages and has its own successful global merchandise programme.
David McKee was born in Devon and went to Plymouth Art College, where he had a traditional training. On leaving college he drew regularly for, among others, Punch, Reader’s Digest, and The Times Educational Supplement. His drawings were influenced especially by Saul Steinberg and Andre Francois.
David’s first picture book was one of the stories he had told at college, Two Can Toucan. This was published by Abelard-Schuman in 1964 and the version David re-illustrated in 1985 was re-issued in 2001 by Andersen Press. David has written and illustrated over 50 picture books for Andersen Press including 24 original Elmer stories. David lives in Arles, France


Delightful and charming, colourful and entertaining – with a timely reminder of the true meaning of Christmas


Another classic

Glasgow Herald

A festive, glittery treat of a book… This story is a must-have for fans of the beloved patchwork elephant

Baby London

Any fan of Elmer will love this book

What The Redhead Said blog

A seasonal treat for fans of the patchwork elephant.

The Bookseller

One of David McKee’s warmest stories – sure to be a hit amongst both old and new fans of the patchwork coloured elephant.

Carousel Magazine

Elmer the Elephant is an established favourite with the two-to-five age group. In this seasonal tale, the bright bold illustrations and sense of fun are perfect for very little ones.

Daily Mail

A very useful book to share with children who write long and demanding Christmas lists. David McKee’s illustrations that accompany the story are utterly irresistible too.

The Bookbag

Every child should get to know Elmer the patchwork elephant.

Riveting Reads SLA 3-6

Books featuring Elmer and his friends are universally acknowledged as essential for the nursery.

This is absolutely the ideal Christmas story. It perfectly captures the true spirit of Christmas.

Parents In Touch

22McKee’s cheerful gouache illustrations have their usual naïve charm . . . Charming enough to please Elmer’s devoted fans of any age.


McKee’s story sends a strong but friendly reminder of the importance of generosity and goodwill during the holiday season. The playful, vividly colored illustrations complement the book’s cheery tone.

Horn Book Magazine, US

McKee uses his traditional vibrant colors in the simple cartoon illustrations.

School Library Journal, USA

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