Our Overall rating: 4.75
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Elmer's Special Day

June 24, 2011

By: Carisa Kluver

The Digital Media Diet

Elmer's Special Day is about an elephant that has a multi-colored patchwork instead of the usual grey. This book, one in a series of print books that first began in 1989, is a delightful title that explores the sense of community that can be created by celebrating together and embracing differences. This book was published in print in 2009 and features illustrations that are drenched in rich colors.

The story follows Elmer as he prepares with the other elephants for an annual parade in the jungle. The other animals complain about the noise and mess as all the elephants decorate themselves to be more colorful (only Elmer becomes 'elephant colored' on this special day). Elmer wisely decides to include everyone to quell this jealousy and soon all the animals of the jungle are happily participating in a colorful parade (with 'elephant' masks for the other animals, even).

This digital offering is well made with simple, intuitive settings, although several do take the reader outside of the app. Like the other titles from Oceanhouse Media, this book has an eye on educational enhancements, too. For the read-a-long effect, each word is highlighted as it is read. Tap on any word to hear it spoken, even in the 'read-it-myself' mode. 

Although each page is essentially a still image, many pages begin by panning over the original artwork, zooming in and out to show off each segment of text, a nice semi-animated style. For interactivity, most of the items pictured in the story react to a light tap with a visual image of the word with accompanying audio (for example, tap Elmer and the word "Elmer" appears with audio saying “Elmer”). If the image tapped is also represented in the text on that page, the word will highlight as well.

Overall, this is a truly inspiring read and just the right length for bedtime reading. It presents the topic with positive humor, beautiful illustrations and just the right amount of interactivity to inspire reading without detracting from the story.

All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.


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Elmer's Special Day

June 24, 2011

By: Carisa Kluver

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David McKee

Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

Length (time):
6 - 10 Minutes

Based on non-digital book: Yes

Allows Own Narration:

Uses Motion: No

Age: 4 - 8

English •

Length (pages):
38 Pages


Story Synopsis - Elmer's Special Day

Elmer the elephant is a patchwork of colors, but one day a year all the other elephants decorate themselves to go on parade while Elmer makes himself grey and elephant colored instead. It's a noisy celebration, so noisy that it makes the rest of the jungle animals upset. So Elmer has an idea ... they will invite ALL the animals to join them this year for the parade. All they have to do is decorate themselves and wear elephant masks. The parade is a huge success and no one complains about the mess and noise.


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Orientation: Landscape

Format: Universal


Read Myself, Read-to-Me, Auto-Play, Links to: App Store, Web

App Release Date:


Size: 15.9 MB

Version: 1.0.8

Lite Version Available: No



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