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.

Order of Elmer Series

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

Order of King Rollo Series

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

Order of Mr. Benn Series

1123456789 Benn 1970Description / Buy
2Big Game Benn (Short Story) 1979Description / Buy
3Mr. Benn (Short Story) 1993Description / Buy
4Mr. Benn Spaceman (Short Story) 1993Description / Buy
5Mr. Benn Diver (Short Story) 1993Description / Buy
6Mr. Benn Caveman (Short Story) 1993Description / Buy
7Mr. Benn, Gladiator (Short Story) 2001Description / Buy
8Mr Benn's Little Book of Life 2001Description / Buy
9The Extraordinary Adventures of Mr. Benn (Short Story) 2009Description / Buy
10Big-Top Benn (Short Story) 2011Description / Buy
11Mr Benn (Short Story) 2015Description / Buy

Order of Melric Series

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

Order of David McKee Standalone Books

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