Ipswich's Elmer the Elephant art trail 'overwhelms' author

Elmer sculpture in Ipswich, outside the Willis Building
Image caption The elephants can seen in the town centre, Christchurch Park, Holywells Parks and at the waterfront until 7 September

The inspiration behind an art trail of 55 brightly painted elephants said he was "overwhelmed" to see them.

David McKee, the children's author of Elmer the Patchwork Elephant, has visited Ipswich for a tour around Elmer's "fantastic" Big Parade.

The writer and illustrator, also behind King Rollo and Mr Benn, said the sculptures were "absolutely brilliantly designed and painted".

The event has been set up by St Elizabeth Hospice to raise funds.

Image caption David McKee said he wrote Elmer The Patchwork Elephant for his third child

Mr McKee said: "I've never seen anything like I've seen in Ipswich, a town full of elephants which are absolutely brilliantly designed and painted."

It is "very flattering and overwhelming" he said as it "looks like a lot of pleasure and love has gone into making them".

The author said he would love to return for the auction of the herd on 3 October.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the first publication of the Elmer books and also of St Elizabeth Hospice.

Similar trails are to take place in Plymouth and Tyne & Wear.

Image caption 'Young' Elmers have been put on display in the Buttermarket shopping centre plus in other locations

Paul Black, from publishers Andersen Press, said: "To be able to share that experience with David McKee, and for him to meet the people of Suffolk, is a unique opportunity."

Other sculptures on the trail include the Ed Sheeran-inspired Castle On The Hill elephant, Elmer Armstrong, Sir Elephant John, Elephantom of the Opera and Woolmer-I-Am - a reference to a woolly mammoth named at Ipswich Museum.

They can be seen across the town centre, Christchurch Park, Holywells Parks and the waterfront.

Other art trail stories you may be interested in:

The trail has been organised by the hospice, which helps those with progressive and terminal illnesses, in partnership with Wild in Art and Andersen Press.

It is running until 7 September.

Image copyright St Elizabeth Hospice
Image caption Elmer is a "story about an elephant that is very different as he is so coloured", said David McGee

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