Elmer and the Race

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Elmer and the Race
David McKee
Andersen Press
The young elephants have become racing enthusiasts so Elmer and Wilbur decide to organise a special race and give the youngsters a week to practise. On race day everyone gathers to watch the nine contestants, each of which is decorated a different colour …

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and all listen to Elmer’s reminder: “Remember it’s not just who is fastest or slowest, but how you run the race” issued before the off.
Elmer and Wilbur then head off to the first vantage point to view the proceedings as Brown takes the lead. An eventful race ensues with monkey tricks sending some contestants off course; cheating leading to an injury …

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a disqualification and finally a winner – that’s Blue. He’s not the only medal recipient however: there’s an award for second place, fastest starter, bravest, kindest, unluckiest contestant as well as two for funniest and finally one for sorriest (also the naughtiest) so every one is happy – one way or another.
I had to read this one three times to a group of 4s to 9s, one of whom said she knew the story already but quickly realised she didn’t; it was the original Elmer book she was familiar with. Clearly Elmer still wields his magic after more than a quarter of a century. Long live Elmer the Patchwork Elephant.

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