Elmer Again – David McKee

More in the Series – Elmer
“More in the Series” scores the other books in a series where one (or more) of the books have made it into the 1001 Books list. Mostly because I’m a bit of a completionist. 

POINTS: 3 out of 10.

Bechdel: 0 points
Variety of characters: 0 points
Good story: 2 points.
Discretionary ideological points: 1 point.

I much preferred this book to the first Elmer book. It still has no female characters to speak of and the elephants are all still pretty Anglo-Saxon, but there was something about this one that I liked much more than the first.

I think perhaps it is because Elmer, as a character has settled into himself much more. He’s still a trickster, but there is less of a feeling that he’s being entertaining and amusing so that the other elephants like him, and is actually just being true to himself.

The story is set on “Elmer Day”, a day when the elephants all celebrate Elmer and his bright colours, which in itself is kind of nifty. (Maybe if we, as a world, celebrated difference, things would be a bit better around here.) He plays a trick on the elephants, convincing them that his colours have washed off.

I am not a fan of pranking, for the most part, because most pranks require someone to be hurt or embarrassed, but Elmer manages to be a prankster with no ‘victim’. His trick is good-natured, and the idea of the book (yay difference) is a lot more subtle in this one than in the first. It feels more like a story about an elephant (who happens to look different) than a story about An Elephant Who Is Different, if you see what I mean.

It’s a good one. I recommend it.

What do you think? Are you a fan of Elmer? What are your favourite elephant books? What are your favourite books about the value of difference?


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