David McKee Books

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David McKee is a British illustrator and author who writes for children. He has been commended for his gentle, playful but insightful stories.

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Order of Elmer Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Elmer (Short Story) 1989 Description / Buy
2 Elmer Again (Short Story) 1991 Description / Buy
3 Elmer's Christmas (Short Story) 1993 Description / Buy
4 Elmer on Stilts (Short Story) 1993 Description / Buy
5 Elmer's Day (Short Story) 1994 Description / Buy
6 Elmer and Friends 1994 Description / Buy
7 Elmer and Wilbur (Short Story) 1994 Description / Buy
8 Elmer's Colors (Short Story) 1994 Description / Buy
9 Elmer's Weather (Short Story) 1994 Description / Buy
10 Elmer's Special Day (Short Story) 1994 Description / Buy
11 Elmer in the Snow (Short Story) 1995 Description / Buy
12 Elmer's Splash (Short Story) 1995 Description / Buy
13 The Elmer Pop-Up Book (Short Story) 1996 Description / Buy
14 Elmer Takes Off (Short Story) 1997 Description / Buy
15 Hide-and-Seek Elmer (Short Story) 1997 Description / Buy
16 I Can Too! (Short Story) 1997 Description / Buy
17 Elmer and the Lost Teddy (Short Story) 1999 Description / Buy
18 Elmer and the Kangaroo (Short Story) 2000 Description / Buy
19 Look! There's Elmer (Short Story) 2000 Description / Buy
20 Elmer and Grandpa Eldo (Short Story) 2001 Description / Buy
21 Elmer's Concert (Short Story) 2001 Description / Buy
22 Elmer and Butterfly (Short Story) 2002 Description / Buy
23 Elmer's New Friend (Short Story) 2002 Description / Buy
24 Elmer and Rose (Short Story) 2005 Description / Buy
25 Elmer and Aunt Zelda (Short Story) 2006 Description / Buy
26 Elmer's Opposites (Short Story) 2007 Description / Buy
27 Elmer and Snake (Short Story) 2007 Description / Buy
28 Elmer and the Rainbow (Short Story) 2007 Description / Buy
29 Elmer and the Big Bird (Short Story) 2008 Description / Buy
30 Elmer and the Hippos (Short Story) 2010 Description / Buy
31 Elmer and Super El (Short Story) 2011 Description / Buy
32 Elmer and the Birthday Quake (Short Story) 2012 Description / Buy
33 Elmer and the Whales (Short Story) 2013 Description / Buy
34 Elmer and the Monster (Short Story) 2014 Description / Buy
35 Elmer and the Flood (Short Story) 2015 Description / Buy
36 Elmer's Band (Short Story) 2015 Description / Buy
37 Elmer's Touch and Feel World (Short Story) 2016 Description / Buy
38 Elmer and the Race (Short Story) 2016 Description / Buy
39 Elmer and the Tune (Short Story) 2017 Description / Buy
40 Elmer's Bedtime (Short Story) 2017 Description / Buy
41 My First Elmer (Short Story) 2018 Description / Buy
42 Elmer's Walk (Short Story) 2018 Description / Buy
43 Elmer's Birthday (Short Story) 2019 Description / Buy
44 Elmer Shapes 2020 Description / Buy
45 Elmer Opposites 2020 Description / Buy

Order of King Rollo Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 King Rollo And The New Shoes (Short Story) 1979 Description / Buy
2 King Rollo and the Bread 1979 Description / Buy
3 King Rollo and the Tree (Short Story) 1980 Description / Buy
4 King Rollo and the Dishes 1982 Description / Buy
5 King Rollo and the Bath 1982 Description / Buy
6 King Rollo and the Balloons 1982 Description / Buy
7 King Rollo and King Frank 1982 Description / Buy
8 King Rollo and the Search 1982 Description / Buy
9 King Rollo's Playroom (Short Story) 1982 Description / Buy
10 King Rollo and the Dog 1982 Description / Buy
11 King Rollo and the Masks 1982 Description / Buy
12 King Rollo and the Breakfast 1982 Description / Buy
13 The Further Adventures Of King Rollo (Short Story) 1983 Description / Buy
14 King Rollo's Winter (Short Story) 1986 Description / Buy
15 King Rollo's Letter (Short Story) 1986 Description / Buy
16 The Adventures of King Rollo (Short Story) 1986 Description / Buy
17 King Rollo's Play (Short Story) 1986 Description / Buy
18 KING ROLLO'S AUTUMN (Short Story) 1987 Description / Buy
19 King Rollo's Summer 1987 Description / Buy
20 King Rollo's Spring 1987 Description / Buy
21 King Rollo and Santa's Beard (Short Story) 1990 Description / Buy
22 King Rollo's Christmas (Short Story) 1992 Description / Buy
23 King Rollo and the New Stockings (Short Story) 2001 Description / Buy

Order of Mr. Benn Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 123456789 Benn 1970 Description / Buy
2 Big Game Benn (Short Story) 1979 Description / Buy
3 Mr. Benn (Short Story) 1993 Description / Buy
4 Mr. Benn Spaceman (Short Story) 1993 Description / Buy
5 Mr. Benn Diver (Short Story) 1993 Description / Buy
6 Mr. Benn Caveman (Short Story) 1993 Description / Buy
7 Mr. Benn, Gladiator (Short Story) 2001 Description / Buy
8 Mr Benn's Little Book of Life 2001 Description / Buy
9 The Extraordinary Adventures of Mr. Benn (Short Story) 2009 Description / Buy
10 Big-Top Benn (Short Story) 2011 Description / Buy
11 Mr Benn (Short Story) 2015 Description / Buy

Order of Melric Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Melric the Magician Who Lost His Magic (Short Story) 1970 Description / Buy
2 Melric and the Petnapping (Short Story) 1976 Description / Buy
3 Melric and the Dragon (Short Story) 1986 Description / Buy
4 The magician's apprentice (Short Story) 1987 Description / Buy
5 Tales of Melric The Magician 1991 Description / Buy
6 Melric and the Crown (Short Story) 2016 Description / Buy

Order of David McKee Standalone Books

# Read Title Published Details
1 Mark And The Monocycle 1968 Description / Buy
2 Lord Rex, The Lion Who Wished (Short Story) 1973 Description / Buy
3 The Day the Tide Went Out ... and Out ... and Out ... and Out ... and Out ... and Out (Short Story) 1976 Description / Buy
4 Two Admirals 1977 Description / Buy
5 Tusk Tusk (Short Story) 1978 Description / Buy
6 Not Now, Bernard (Short Story) 1980 Description / Buy
7 The Hill and the Rock (Short Story) 1984 Description / Buy
8 I Hate My Teddy Bear (Short Story) 1984 Description / Buy
9 Two Monsters (Short Story) 1986 Description / Buy
10 The magician and the balloon 1986 Description / Buy
11 The Sad Story of Veronica Who Played the Violin (Short Story) 1987 Description / Buy
12 The Snow Woman (Short Story) 1987 Description / Buy
13 Book of Pig Tales 1988 Description / Buy
14 Who's a Clever Baby Then? (Short Story) 1988 Description / Buy
15 Two Can Toucan (Short Story) 1989 Description / Buy
16 The Monster & the Teddy Bear (Short Story) 1989 Description / Buy
17 The Mystery of the Blue Arrows (Short Story) 1991 Description / Buy
18 Zebra's Hiccups (Short Story) 1993 Description / Buy
19 Longman Book Project (Short Story) 1994 Description / Buy
20 The School Bus Comes at Eight O'Clock (Short Story) 1994 Description / Buy
21 Songbooks – Okki-Tokki-Unga (Short Story) 1994 Description / Buy
22 Charlotte's Piggy Bank (Short Story) 1996 Description / Buy
23 Prince Peter and the Teddy Bear (Short Story) 1997 Description / Buy
24 Mary's Secret (Short Story) 1999 Description / Buy
25 Who Is Mrs Green? (Short Story) 2003 Description / Buy
26 The Adventures of Charmin the Bear (Short Story) 2003 Description / Buy
27 The Conquerors (Short Story) 2004 Description / Buy
28 Three Monsters (Short Story) 2005 Description / Buy
29 Four Red Apples (Short Story) 2006 Description / Buy
30 Denver (Short Story) 2010 Description / Buy
31 The Tickle Ghost (Short Story) 2011 Description / Buy
32 The Fair Comes to Town 2014 Description / Buy
33 Belinda Brown (Short Story) 2018 Description / Buy
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McKee was born in 1930 in Devon. He spent his childhood in Tavistock, eventually attending a grammar school in the area. After graduating from Plymouth College, McKee joined the army, becoming a Royal Army Educational Corps instructor.

The author was a sergeant by the time he left the military. McKee had always been an artist at heart, even before he enrolled at the Hornsey College of Art and graduated with his second degree. It was after his stint at Hornsey that the author began to pursue his carer as an illustrator and painter with fervor.

But McKee started making money from his art while in college. He used to create one-off cartoons and sell them. After college, he was able to earn a living through his painting, with his works appearing in publications like ‘The Times Educational Supplement’.

McKee’s lucky break came in 1964 when he wrote and successfully published a story about a dinosaur who learned to fly. The book earned the praise of numerous critics who loved the author’s eccentric art style and the minute details he had chosen to add to his story at a time where children’s books were relatively simple.

In the years that followed, the author’s renown grew. At first, the BBC started using some of his characters in their shows. After seeing the positive response they garnered, the broadcasting service decided to create an entire series surrounding some of his most popular books.

This cemented McKee’s place in the field of children’s fiction. People have called him amusing and unusual. The English writer’s specialty is picture books and stories, though he has written scripts for shows associated with his characters.

One of his most notable creations is Mr. Benn, a seemingly ordinary banker who goes on amazing adventures whenever he tries out a new set of clothing. Then there is Rollo, a King with a childish temperament, Melric; a sorcerer fighting to keep his position at court, and Elmer, an elephant that wants to change his colorful patchwork hide.

Besides original work, some of the author’s fans are unaware that he has produced illustrations for writers like Hazel Townson, Ursula Moray Williams, and Michael Bond, to mention but a few. McKee has even contributed drawings to the ‘Paddington Bear’ series.

McKee’s work is popular because it blends reality with fantasy. Even though his stories are targeted towards very young children, he isn’t afraid to tackle war, tolerance, equality, and other touchy subjects. In a way, the author treats his young readers like they are small adults who understand far more than other children’s authors realize.

All his stories attempt to provide some sort of moralistic insight into the human condition. His endings are not always happy. Or rather, he always adds an ironic twist. Some of his harsher critics think that his works are too sophisticated for his audience but fans disagree. If anything, they love the author because he doesn’t pull his punches.

David McKee Awards

McKee received a Hans Christian Andersen Award nomination in 2006. He has an honorary doctorate of Arts (Plymouth University).

David McKee Books into Movies

The BBC created TV shows based on the ‘King Rollo’ and ‘Mr. Benn’ characters. The ‘Tall Stories Theater Company’ also adapted the ‘Mr. Benn’ character for stage.

Best David McKee Books

McKee has been praised for ‘skewing the concept of happy endings’, with some of the best books in his bibliography including:

Elmer: Elmer isn’t like other elephants. He would like to be. But his hide has colored patchwork that makes him stand out like a sore thumb. The others keep laughing at him and Elmer wants them to stop. The brightly colored elephant just wants to fit in. And he believes that he can make all his dreams come true by changing the color of his hide.

He believes that the transformation will make everything better. But things are not quite what they seem.

Elmer’s Special Day: Elmer Day is fast approaching for the Elephants. They are all so excited to wear their colorful outfits and participate in the parade. But their excitement has become a headache for everyone else. The other animals are upset. To smooth things over, Elmer changes the rules and invites them to partake in Elmer Day.

When Does The Next David McKee book come out?

David McKee doesn't seem to have an upcoming book. Their newest book is Elmer Opposites and was released on April, 9th 2020. It is the newest book in the Elmer Series.


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