Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Elephant and Piggie Round-Up

Gerald's trunk is broken and Piggie is curious to find out how it happened. Her elephant friend launches into a long story about balancing a hippo on his trunk, then a rhino, then hippo's huge sister. With each new addition, Piggie thinks she will get her answer. The explanation for the twisted snozzle is not what she--or a beginning reader--expects. Like so many of Mo Willem's endings, it is hilarious, as is Piggie's reaction, giving the story a double whammy of an ending.

Gerald is a lot like Hamlet in this beginning reader, except instead of  obsessing over "To be or not to be?" he mulls the question: "Should I share my ice cream?" He goes back and forth debating the pros and cons, but time and ice cream wait for no pachyderm. Sharp-eyed children will spot the dripping cone and guess what's in store. Luckily for Gerald, Piggie appears with her own cone, and has so hesitation about sharing it.

It's Happy Pig Day and Piggie is ecstatic, celebrating with her pig friends. Gerald can't quite get into a festive mood, though. After all, he's grey, snoutless, and without hooves. In short, he's an elephant, not a pig, and feels as if doesn't belong. Piggie reassures him that Happy Pig Day is for everyone, and sure enough, her pig friends turn out to be other animals in pig costumes.

All three books are up for 2011 Cybils Awards in the Easy Reader/Early Chapter Book category, but the strongest is I Broke My Trunk with its two-for-one surprise ending. Mo Willems nailed this one. Right on the nose.

I am a first-round panelist in this category, and this review reflects my opinion only.

1 comment:

  1. I just love Elephant & Piggie (I remember you telling me once that you do, too)...but I still need to read these three. Thanks for wetting my appetite!