Have you ‘herd’? - Elmer the Elephant is coming to the Cooper Gallery

ELMER and Friends: The Colourful World of David McKee, the first ever major retrospective of David McKee’s striking illustration will be arriving at the Cooper Gallery on Saturday,10 July.

For the first time ever, families from across the region can step into David McKee’s colourful world in this characteristically playful touring exhibition from Seven Stories The National Centre for Children’s Books as it celebrates 30 years of Elmer the Patchwork Elephant.

In anticipation of its arrival and to mark national Elmer Day, the Cooper Gallery will be hosting a whole day of virtual fun via their online platforms. Join them on their website and social media to take part in a variety of Elmer themed activities.

Elmer remains one of the most widely read children’s book series of all time, selling over ten 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.

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.

Cllr Tim Cheetham, cabinet spokesperson for place at Barnsley Council, said: “We can’t wait for Elmer to arrive to the Cooper Gallery bringing with him fun, laughter and bursts of bright colour, it’s what we all need right now.  Although his arrival may be a little while away people can get a little taster of Elmer magic from this virtual day of fun activities.  The Cooper has always been a great place for families to explore with treasures and treats around every corner.”