Once, elephants came in two colours: black or white. They loved all other creatures - but each set wanted to destroy the other. Peace-loving elephants ran and hid in the deepest jungle while battle commenced. The war-mongers succeeded: for a long time it seemed that there were no elephants in the world at all, not of any colour. But then the descendants of the peace-loving ones emerged from the jungle, and by now they were all grey.
‘This book was one of my favourites as a kid, I simply relished in the gloriousness of a load of elephants battling it out in a bizarre forest. It wasn’t until I was a bit older that I recognised the importance of the message that lay (not so subtly) underneath.’ OLIVER JEFFERS
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
This simple, yet striking, book is an ideal way to introduce children to the concept of empathy, and to celebrate diversity, rather than fearing it.
A wonderful book for children and parents (and politicians)
Early Years Educator