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Elmer The Elephant Stars In Colourful New Exhibition About Author David McKee



Elmer The Elephant Stars In Colourful New Exhibition About Author David McKee

A woman and young girl admiring an Elmer artwork on a museum wall, with beanbags on either side of the room
The Colourful World of David McKee offers visitors a chance to step into the world of the the beloved children’s books. Image: Seven Stories

A colourful new exhibition about patchwork pachyderm Elmer the Elephant opens at Horniman Museum in October.

Aimed at under-7s and their families, Elmer and Friends: The Colourful World of David McKee offers visitors a chance to step into the world of the the beloved children’s books, first published over 30 years ago, and enjoyed by successive generations since.

The first section of the exhibition is a recreation of Elmer’s world, where visitors can walk through Elmer’s jungle, encountering familiar characters and stories along the way.

Woman and young girl sitting in front of an Elmer artwork on a museum wall, with other Elmer artworks on display in the next room
Image: Seven Stories

Though Elmer is the headline act, the exhibition showcases the wider work of Elmer author David McKee, who died in April this year. McKee’s creations include Not Now, Bernard, Mr Benn, and King Rollo. While younger visitors might be familiar with the former, the latter two are more likely to register with their parents and grandparents, who can revisit the realm of childlike King Rollo and join Mr Benn as he leaves his house at 52 Festive Road, London (which we tracked down in real life).

The exhibition even features a recreation of the fancy dress shop featured in Mr Benn, as well as plenty of McKee’s original artworks, and cosy reading areas for families to enjoy the books.

Elmer and Friends: The Colourful World of David McKee is at Horniman Museum in Forest Hill, 21 October 2022-16 April 2023. Tickets are £5 adult/£2.50 child. It’s a touring exhibition from Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books.

Last Updated 19 August 2022

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