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Elmer Books

By Janet Castrejón, MA

Elmer, a colorful patchwork elephant, will delight your child while introducing them to new vocabulary in a foreign language.  Elmer books are available on in Spanish, Italian, Chinese, Urdu, Vietnamese, Arabic, and Turkish. The sturdy board books are designed for babies and toddlers.

Each page features colorful illustrations of Elmer’s adventures with other animals he encounters. In Elmer’s Day, the book that I reviewed, one page had a verb describing what Elmer and the other animals were doing and the opposing page gave more information about this activity. For example, “Splash! Splash!” (the verb) “What fun, it’s bathtime.” (the opposing page). This pattern would be great for building your child’s knowledge of verbs in the foreign language. After a few readings your child should be able to say what the verb is as soon as they see the illustration. When you turn to the new page, look at your child and ask what the animals are doing (e.g. “They are splashing.”).

The following Elmer books are available on

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