David McKee's books are published in numerous languages throughout the world. He divides his time between London and the south of France. David McKee's books are published in numerous languages throughout the world. He divides his time between London and the south of France.
"After a day of preparing for Christmas, Elmer the patchwork elephant and seven young elephants sneak away to spy on Papa Red. Papa Red arrives (complete with Santa hat and whiskers) and gathers up the gifts from under the tree. The young elephants are delighted to have seen him, and when they note that Papa Red took all the gifts, Elmer explains that 'this is the season for giving.' 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." --The Horn Book Magazine--Journal
"Elmer the patchwork elephant celebrates Christmas and the arrival of Papa Red, the elephantine equivalent of Santa Claus, in this quirky explanation of the origin of Christmas gifts. As the little elephants in Elmer's herd eagerly anticipate Papa Red's annual visit, Elmer takes them off to look for a Christmas tree so the older elephants can 'prepare the presents.' Elmer and his charges return with a huge tree to decorate, which they plan to return after use. The whole herd and all their other animal pals decorate the tree together, piling a heap of wrapped presents underneath. On Christmas Eve, the young elephants hide behind tall plants (though readers can see their eyes and trunks peeking out), and they observe Papa Red's arrival in his sleigh (drawn by moose instead of reindeer). Elmer helps Papa Red load all the presents into the sleigh for delivery, and the story concludes with Elmer leaving one package from Papa Red next to each sleeping elephant. McKee's cheerful gouache illustrations in double-page-spread format have their usual naive charm with flattened perspective and profile portraits of Elmer's animal friends. Simple enough for younger preschoolers, but charming enough to please Elmer's devoted fans of any age." --Kirkus Reviews--Journal
"Elmer the patchwork elephant leads his fellow elephants on a walk through the jungle and into the snow to pick out a Christmas tree. At home, the elephants hang decorations and excitedly place presents underneath the tree. Finally, Papa Red, a bearded elephant Santa, arrives and Elmer helps him load the presents into the sleigh. 'This is the season for giving. We give and Papa Red takes the presents to whoever needs them the most, ' Elmer explains to the young elephants. It's a kindhearted message, but readers may still scratch their heads over Papa Red's confiscation of the gifts under the tree." --Publishers Weekly--Journal