Elmer and Friends: The Colourful World of David McKee

Elmer and Friends: The Colourful World of David McKee

Now Open!

Elmer and Friends: The Colourful World of David McKee celebrates 30 years of Elmer the Patchwork Elephant and is the first major retrospective of David McKee’s striking artwork.  

Elmer remains one of the most widely read children’s book series of all time, selling over eight million copies worldwide since it was first published by Andersen Press in 1989. Written and illustrated by celebrated children’s author and artist David McKee, the Elmer books have been translated into more than 50 languages and now new books, toys and clothing add to the world of Elmer the Patchwork Elephant.

Elmer's appeal has proven to be timeless and universal, opening up conversations around diversity and self-acceptance.  In the first book of the iconic series, Elmer discovers that when he tries to change his appearance in order to 'blend in' with the other elephants, they no longer recognise him, or accept him. This makes Elmer sad, and he experiences how it feels to be treated like an outcast, after being ostracised by his old friends. It's only when it begins to rain, and the grey paint that Elmer has covered himself with starts to disappear, that Elmer's 'true colours' are revealed, much to the surprise and delight of his friends, who preferred his multicoloured and fun-loving self.

Alongside artwork and manuscripts from the world famous Elmer series, some of which will be on display for the first time, the exhibition will also showcase artwork from David McKee’s other popular stories, including Not Now, Bernard.

Coinciding with the exhibition, Elmer’s Big Art Parade will also be taking place across Newcastle from August 2019. This stunning art trail made up of individually designed sculptures based on the much-loved Elmer character, will stomp its way across the region for 10 weeks from August to October 2019.  Brought to you by St Oswald’s Children’s Hospice in partnership with Wild in Art and Andersen Press, the trail will raise awareness and funds for the Children’s Hospice. 

Families and Elmer fans this is one not to be missed!  Be sure to catch ELMER and Friends: The Colourful World of David McKee 

ELMER and Friends: The Colourful World of David McKee opened at Seven Stories in February 2019 and will run until February 2020, before the exhibition packs its trunk to tour to visitor attractions and venues across the UK.

Exhibition supported by Andersen Press