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Your chance to meet famous Elmer author in Ipswich

Elmer author David McKee. Picture: COURTESY OF ANDERSEN PRESS

Elmer author David McKee. Picture: COURTESY OF ANDERSEN PRESS

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His books have brought joy to generations of children and inspired Ipswich's current Elmer trail, which is being enjoyed by thousands of youngsters this summer.

Kia-Rose Hardwicke enjoying the Elmer trail  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNKia-Rose Hardwicke enjoying the Elmer trail Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

And now you will have the chance to meet the man behind it all when author David McKee visits the town which is marking Elmer the Patchwork Elephant's 30th anniversary year.

Mr McKee's Elmer books were first published by Andersen Press in 1989.

Since then nearly 40 books in the series have been published, bringing smiles to the faces of millions of children with Elmer's positive and humorous personality.

This year Ipswich hosts a trail of Elmers around the town sporting different designs to celebrate the 30th anniversary and raise funds for St Elizabeth Hospice.

Jasper Woods  enjoying the Elmer trail  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNJasper Woods enjoying the Elmer trail Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

It is also organised with Wild in Art and Andersen Press.

On Thursday Mr McKee will visit Ipswich for 24 hours to see the trail before attending a celebration event with those who helped organise it, where people will be able to get Elmer books and goodies signed by the man himself.

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The public signing event at Ipswich Town Hall - Elmer headquarters for the duration of the trail - between 3pm and 4.30pm on Thursday, July 4 will be the highlight of his visit.

Norman Lloyd, campaign manager for Elmer's Big Parade Suffolk, said: "We are very proud that Elmer's Big Parade Suffolk is the first of the three Elmer parades happening this year - trails will follow in Plymouth and Tyne and Wear - and that we will be the first to showcase our beautiful sculptures and fabulous campaign to David himself.

"We can't wait to hear what he thinks."

Paul Black, public relations and brand director at Andersen Press, said: "Working on the public art trails has been the highlight of the Elmer 30th birthday celebrations, and now to see all the hard work that Norman and the team at St Elizabeth Hospice have done come to fruition is amazing.

"To be able to share that experience with David McKee, and for him to meet the people of Suffolk, is a unique opportunity. We can't wait to meet everyone."

A special souvenir sticker album has been created to accompany the trail, with people able to collect 139 stickers.

As well as being the place to put all your favourite Elmers, the book also contains a range of activities and games to keep young fans busy including games and colouring challenges.

Every copy of this newspaper contains a voucher for you to claim a free pack of stickers while some papers may contain more than one voucher.

The albums are available to buy at the East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star office in Princes Street.

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