Dear David McKee,
When I was growing up, my mother would always read a large amount of books to me. Now when I say large I don't mean a dozen or so, I mean at least 300! Out of all these books I had my obvious favorite, Elmer. I went through a couple copies of Elmer because the cover would tear or I would rip the pages, and God knows you can't read Elmer with ripped pages! Although I have matured from my mom reading me books I still read Elmer every once in a while. I read it to my cousin Patrick, who is three, for the first time-last week, and he loved it. He asked to hear it again and again. Not only does Elmer have amazing drawings, but the story taught me a lesson that I will never forget and I follow it on the daily.
Being yourself is something that everyone needs to do. It is not a good thing to change your views, morals, and personality because other people want you to. I learned to be myself from reading Elmer. When Elmer felt incredibly different than everyone else because his skin was multicolored and he decided to roll around in the berry bush, he showed how he wanted to change himself to fit in. This is something that no one should ever have to do. After Elmer became gray from the berries, he found himself incredibly boring. He was so ordinary. I can relate to this feeling in many ways. When I went to a Catholic elementary school, we had to wear uniforms and I felt plain and unoriginal. I wanted to wear my unique clothes from all over the world, but I couldn't. This frustrated me and I can imagine the frustration that Elmer felt.
When the rain washed away the berries and revealed Elmer's multicolored patchwork everyone was happy to see that it was Elmer, just the way he was. All the other elephants were glad that Elmer was himself because they loved Elmer for who he was, just as most people in the world like others for who they are, not what they look like. After reading Elmer all these years I have developed into who I am. I try never to change who I am and how I act. I wear the things I want and act the way I want. Most things that might embarrass people don't bother me. My favorite part of Elmer is the end, when all the other elephants paint their bodies with bright colors just like Elmer's. This should show Elmer that he is one cool elephant and doesn't need to be the same as everyone because they look up to him and think he is awesome!
From my favorite book Elmer I learned that it is alright to be unique and different. Everyone has wonderful qualities that make them special. The world would be very boring, as Elmer pointed out when he made himself gray, if everyone was exactly the same. Life is so much fun when everyone is a rainbow of differences. The book Elmer changed my view of the world making me see that it is alright to be an "elephant" of a different color.