celebrating Elmer Day

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.

This year 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. 

Sophie Green, Children’s Librarian at Suffolk Libraries, believes that “Elmer’s timeless look and messages of kindness, helpfulness and the importance of being yourself mean that he’s never gone out of style. Over the last three decades he has enjoyed many adventures, met all sorts of friends and taught generations of readers that everyone is special in their own way.”

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. 

Suffolk Libraries will be at the Suffolk show providing a pop-up library experience in the new Reflections Courtyard, where children can win one of two cuddly Elmers by entering a colouring competition.

A full list of Elmer events across our libraries follows:

Elmer Day: colouring, crafts and trail  Beccles Library  Sat 25 May, 2019  10:30
Elmer Day crafts  Broomhill Library  Sat 25 May, 2019  14:00
Elmer Day: story, crafts and games  Bury St Edmunds Library  Sat 25 May, 2019  10:00
Elmer Day: stories and crafts  Chantry Library  Sat 25 May, 2019  10:00
Elmer Day: rag rugging  Hadleigh Library  Sat 25 May, 2019  11:00
Elmer Day: stories and craft  Hadleigh Library  Sat 25 May, 2019  10:30
Elmer Day  Haverhill Library  Sat 25 May, 2019  10:30
Elmer Day: stories and crafts  Ipswich County Library  Sat 25 May, 2019  09:30
Elmer Day: stories and crafts  Newmarket Library  Sat 25 May, 2019  10:30
Elmer Day: crafts, games, quizzes and more  Sudbury Library  Sat 25 May, 2019  10:30
Elmer Day: stories, crafts and games  Kessingland Library  Wed 29 May, 2019  10:30
Elmer Day: stories and crafts  Needham Market Library  Wed 29 May, 2019  14:30
Elmer Day celebration  Stowmarket Library  Wed 29 May, 2019  10:00

Sophie recommends your local library for anyone who is looking for more Elmer this year. 

“We have about 800 Elmer books in stock in about 70 different editions including board books, dual language, big books and story sacks to share, audiobooks, eAudio and ebooks. In September a brand new Elmer story will be released called ‘Elmer’s Birthday!’ which will be available on the Suffolk Libraries catalogue.”

For more about Suffolk Libraries and Elmer day, visit the Suffolk Libraries website.