Author/Illustrator: David McKee
Publisher and Year: McGraw-Hill, 1968
Number of Pages: 30
Analysis: Elmer the elephant is beautifully different, but he doesn’t see it that way. He goes through some extreme measures to be “normal” until he realizes that it’s good to be different. This book can work as a mirror for children who feel that they are different in some way. Often times in society, being outside of the “norm” is frowned upon, and it shouldn’t be. People should feel comfortable with their differences because those are what make them unique. The jungle life is prevalent in this book, and even the non-elephants accept Elmer for who he is. Rarely did the animals express a face of disgust for Elmer’s appearance. As long as he plays his part in society, he is okay in their eyes.
Perceptually, this book has very plain text, and it clearly explains pictures and stays off to the side.
Structurally, Elmer walks to the right until he is like the rest of the elephants, which is when he feels normal. All of the animals appear to be the same size as Elmer, even though elephants are clearly bigger than pigs. There appears to be many bright colors at the end when Elmer feels free.
“Elmer” teaches that people should accept who they are because it is not the outside that matters.