Elmer and the race by David McKee
Andersen Press, 2016. ISBN 9781783444557
(Age: 4-7) Recommended. Elephants. Competition. Elmer the patchwork elephant is back and this time he organises a race when all the young elephants decided that they wanted to find out who was the fastest runner. Each had a different colour and there was great excitement as they set off on the course that Elmer and Wilbur had designed. On the way they face some obstacles - the cheeky monkeys confuse the racers by throwing fruit and pointing in the wrong direction and Yellow is naughty and trips up Green who is injured.
Readers who enjoyed the adventures of Elmer in Elmer, Elmer and Rose and Elmer and Wilbur will be delighted to see more of the characters in Elmer and the Race. The colourful, eye-catching illustrations make this a stand out story book. Each elephant has a different face and distinctive characteristics, but Elmer with his gorgeous patchwork coat and Wilbur with his black and white squares stand out amongst the colours of the young elephants.
The narrative flows along beautifully, making it a lovely story to read aloud. There are lessons to be learnt on the way. Yellow cheats but finds out that he is good at saying sorry. White is very kind and helps Green, even though it means that he doesn't win the race and Pink and Violet are funny, and even though Blue wins the race and Orange comes in second, all of the young elephants win a medal.