ELMER and Friends: The Colourful World of David McKee

Step into David McKee’s colourful world in this first ever major retrospective of his striking illustrations and celebrate over 30 years of Elmer the Patchwork Elephant.

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. Visitors will also meet many of McKee’s other classic characters in the exhibition, including Not Now Bernard, King Rollo and Mr. Benn.

First stop is Elmer’s world, where visitors will be greeted by a big magnetic Elmer game and enjoy the ultimate Instagram moment. The adventure continues as guests walk through Elmer’s jungle, encountering characters and stories along the way.

As well as illustrations from the Elmer series there will be original artwork from Not Now Bernard, Mr Benn and an original storyboard of King Rollo. Visit the fancy-dress costume shop featured in Mr Benn, with dressing up and reading areas.

Ticket information

Members and Benefactors go free – show your card at the door to be admitted. During busy times (like half term), you may wish to book your free ticket online to guarantee entry at a specific timeslot.

If booking online, add your tickets to the Basket. You will be asked to log in before checkout, which will discount your tickets for Members and Benefactors to become free.

Educational groups can visit our Aquarium, Butterfly House, and temporary exhibitions at a reduced educational rate.

About David McKee

David McKee (1935 – 2022) was born in Devon and studied at Plymouth Art College. In the early part of his career, McKee regularly drew and sold humorous drawings to magazines and newspapers such as The Times Educational Supplement, Punch, and the Reader’s Digest.

David McKee wrote and illustrated over 200 picture books for Andersen Press and penned a number of children’s classics including King Rollo, Mr Benn, Not Now Bernard and Elmer the Patchwork Elephant. In 2020, he won Illustrator of the Year at the British Book Awards and Book Trust Lifetime Achievement Award.

An exhibition from Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books.

Supported by Andersen Press and Arts Council England

An Exhibition from Seven Stories
Supported by