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Elmer the Patchwork Elephant, is a children's picture book series by the British author David McKee. The story revolves around the elephant that has a colourful body unlike any other elephant and introduces little ones to the concept of diversity and self-consciousness. The author comments, ‘Once I had the image, I got the name, which was El, like elephant, and then it's like when you name a baby, they name themselves a bit. Elmer tried to be like the other elephants but in the end he has to be himself.’

The wonderfully simple and poignant introduction to championing differences, is celebrated in many educational institutions and now the 27th May is officially ‘Elmer Day’, with events held in schools, nurseries, libraries and bookshops. Meet the consistent love for Elmer by stocking the the popular character toys exclusively wholesaled by Baby Brands Direct. A TV series, 30 books with over 10 million copies sold over 50 different languages has cemented this character's legacy in children’s literacy. 

The story illustrates Elmer’s attempts to disguise his appearance, covering up his beautiful colours and conforming to the norm in order to 'blend in' with the other elephants; but they no longer recognise him nor treat him as their friend. Naturally Elmer feels sad and he experiences what it is like to be an outcast. It is 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 loved his multi-coloured and fun persona.

Following their happy reunion, the elephants reassure Elmer that they love him because of his differences, and not in spite of them, and they celebrate by painting themselves in multi-coloured paint, in recognition of his unique appearance and personality.


Elmer is a well-known character, with his stories often read and celebrated in nurseries across the global. He has a fun personality that captures the imaginations and psychology of toddlers. As a popular theme, many nurseries run ‘Elmer Weeks’ or ‘Elmer Events’, in addition to celebrating Elmer Day, where kids bring in their elephant teddies, make masks, paint and make collages of him, and wear their brightest most colourful clothes! Wholesaler, Baby Brands Direct is sure of the success of Elmer toys and accordingly offers supply of these soft toys to retailers and nurseries.