Several Suffolk Libraries will be celebrating the most colourful day of the year this month with the return of Elmer Day on Saturday 25 May ahead of Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk.
Elmer Day celebrates the ongoing popularity of Elmer the Patchwork Elephant, who has featured in more than 30 books by David McKee. Elmer Day is also a celebration of reading, elephants, and accepting yourself and others. Activities will be taking place across the country, with children being encouraged to dress up in bright colours.
2019 marks the 30th anniversary of the first Elmer book. It was inspired by an incident where author David McKee’s mixed-race daughter was verbally abused. His stories promote acceptance both in other people and ourselves and have sold millions of copies round the world.
Elmer Day is also particularly special this year as the county gets ready for Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk. Following the huge success of ‘Pigs Gone Wild’ in 2016, St Elizabeth Hospice have teamed up with Wild in Art, Andersen Press and several businesses, schools and youth groups to great an ‘Elmer Trail’, comprising 50 Elmer statues and around 100 smaller ‘young Elmers’.
Ipswich County and Southwold libraries are among those who have decorated a young Elmer for the trail, and you can get a preview of their designs at the Suffolk Show on 29 and 30 May. We will be at the show ourselves providing a pop-up library experience in the new Reflections Courtyard, where children can win one of two cuddly Elmers by entering our colouring competition.
Over the last three decades Elmer has enjoyed many adventures, met all sorts of friends and taught generations of readers that everyone is special in their own way. We have about 800 copies of various Elmer books, including board books, dual language, big books and story sacks to share, audiobooks, eAudiobooks and eBooks.