Well, here we are. Mo Willems. Three Elephant and Piggie books nominated for Cybils. What can I say? I mean, have you ever seen a bad review of Mo Willems? I didn't think so. And this first one here, Are You Ready to Play Outside? Geisel winner. I may not pay much attention to Newberys and stuff like that, but Geisels never go on our shelves....because they're always checked out. Well, I will try.
Just in case you thought Elephant was always uptight and Piggie was always flexible and fun....here's Piggie in a rage because of the rain while Elephant knows just how to adapt. Lovely clean lines, humor in each little squiggly eyebrow, and spot-on child voices.
Now in this story, Piggie is ready to teach Elephant a new skill. Elephant is not sure this is a good idea; but he's willing to try. And try. And try. Until it just doesn't work! Or does it?
Um...I need to say something else. Let's see.....well, on top of recommending Elephant and Piggie to rabid comic fans who want to start their kids out early, kids who want funny easy readers, kids who love Mo Willems picturebooks, parents who love Mo Willem's picturebooks....Elephant and Piggie make great duologues! They're my go-to books when teachers or kids need something simple that two kids can do. The dialogue is all there - all you need to add is expression!
Ah, now my favorite. Still my favorite despite having read it twenty or more times at my summer reading promotions last May. I have the whole thing memorized. I can do it in my sleep. Funny voices and all. That delicious moment when the ball plops and the kids shriek with laughter...beautiful. Just beautiful.
Verdict: Haven't read Elephant and Piggie? Your life is a barren waste and verging on pointless. These are the rare easy readers that aren't just for beginning readers, they're perfect for all ages. Read them aloud as picturebooks, hand them to an older child on a bad day, use them in your high school theater class, or curl up with a big stack to relax and recapture the wonder, despair, and hilarity of childhood.
Watch me throw the ball!
ISBN: 978-1423113485; Published March 2009 by Hyperion; Review copy provided by the publisher for Cybils