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I highly recommend all of the Elephant and Piggie books. They are fun, easy to navigate, and have no superfluous words or details in the illustrations, making it easy for new readers to focus on what's important and to enjoy the reading experience. They also stress the value of friendship and getting along with others.
Introduce your children to the Elephant and Piggie books and you'll find they will delight both beginning readers and younger children. The Elephant and Piggie books are fun to read aloud to younger children who love the funny stories about the two friends. I recommend the books for ages 4-8 and especially beginning readers from 6-8 years old.
Summary of Elephant and Piggie Books by Mo Willems
The 25 Elephant and Piggie books by Mo Willems, which are each 64 pages long, revolve around the friendship of Elephant and Piggie. Elephant, whose name is Gerald, tends to be cautious and pessimistic while his best friend, Piggie, is quite different. She is optimistic, outgoing, and impulsive. Gerald worries a lot; Piggie doesn't.
Despite being very different, the two are best friends. The humorous stories by Mo Willems focus on how Elephant and Piggie get along despite their differences. While the stories are funny, they stress important elements of friendship, such as kindness, sharing, and working together to solve problems. Kids love the Elephant and Piggie stories.
Unlike some books in a series featuring the same characters, the Elephant and Piggie books do not have to be read in a particular order. The distinctive and spare artwork in the books is easily recognizable and won't confuse the beginning reader. In many of the books, Elephant and Piggie are the only characters. Simply drawn and set against a white background, Elephant and Piggie's expressive faces and body language are irresistible.
All of the words in each story are dialogue, with Elephant's words appearing in a gray voice bubble above his head and Piggie's words in a pink voice bubble above her head, like you see in comic books. According to Mo Willems, he intentionally drew simple drawings with an emphasis on what was most important: the words of the story and the body language of Elephant and Piggie. (Source: The World of Elephant and Piggie)
Awards and Honors for Elephant and Piggie Books
Among the many awards and honors Elephant and Piggie have won are the following, which recognize excellence in books for beginning readers:
- 2009 Theodor Seuss Geisel Medal: Are You Ready to Play Outside?
- 2008 Theodor Seuss Geisel Medal: There is a Bird on Your Head
- Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Books - 2015: Waiting Is Not Easy!, 2014: A Big Guy Took My Ball!, 2013: Let's Go for a Drive, 2012: I Broke My Trunk, and 2011: We Are in a Book!
List of All the Elephant and Piggie Books
Note: Books are listed in descending order by publication date.
- The Thank You Book (5/3/2016. ISBN: 97814231
- I Really Like Slop! (2015, ISBN: 978484722626)
- I Will Take a Nap! (2015, ISBN: 9781484716304)
- Waiting is not Easy (11/2014, ISBN: 9781423199571)
- My New Friend is so Fun (2014, ISBN: 9781423179580)
- I'm a Frog! (2013, ISBN: 9781423183051)
- A Big Guy Took My Ball! (2013, ISBN: 9781423174912)
- Let's Go for a Drive! (2012, ISBN: 9781423164821)
- Listen to My Trumpet! (2012, ISBN: 9781423154044)
- Happy Pig Day! (2011, ISBN: 9781423143420)
- Should I Share My Ice Cream? (2011, ISBN: 9781423143437)
- I Broke My Trunk (2011, ISBN: 9781423133094)
- We Are in a Book! (2010, ISBN: 9781423133087)
- Can I Play Too? (2010, ISBN: 9781423119913)
- I Am Going! (2010, ISBN: 9781423119906)
- Pigs Make Me Sneeze! (2009, ISBN: 9781423114116)
- Elephants Cannot Dance! (2009, ISBN: 9781423114109)
- Watch Me Throw the Ball! (2009, ISBN: 9781423113485)
- Are You Ready to Play Outside? (2008, ISBN: 9781423113478)
- I Will Surprise My Friend! (2008, ISBN: 9781423109624)
- I Love My New Toy! (2008, ISBN: 9781423109617)
- There Is a Bird on Your Head! (2007, ISBN: 9781423106869)
- I Am Invited to a Party! (2007, ISBN: 9781423106876)
- My Friend Is Sad (2007, ISBN: 9781423102977)
- Today I Will Fly! (2007, ISBN: 9781423102953)