Reviews for We Are in a Book!
Booklist Reviews 2010 September #2
In their latest pairing, Elephant and Piggie are finally ready to get meta. Realizing that their trademark blank background is, in fact, a page, the duo has a blast convincing the reader to say funny things out loud--until Piggie mentions that the book will soon end. Cue Elephant's existential crisis: "WHEN WILL THE BOOK END!?!" From there on, it's a cute--but never too heady--play on the physical object that the reader is holding, including a bit where Piggie appears to flip the pages forward to get a sense of how much time they have left. Willems' satisfying (if self-serving) solution? Read it again!
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2011 Spring
After discovering that they're in a book and someone is watching them--"a reader is reading us!"--Gerald and Piggie decide to have a little fun with their audience. When Gerald panics after learning that the book must end, Piggie finds a way to console him--and keep readers engaged. Willems successfully and humorously deconstructs the concept of a book for the youngest readers. Copyright 2011 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2010 September #1
Stalwart friends Piggie and Gerald the elephant push the metafictive envelope in a big way when they realize that "someone is looking at us." Is it a monster? worries Gerald. "No," replies the squinting Piggie. "It is... / a reader! / A reader is reading us!" How? wonders Gerald. Piggie drapes herself on a word bubble to demonstrate: "We are in a book!" "THAT IS SO COOL!" Joy leads to a little bit of clever practical joking—Piggie figures out how to make the readers say "banana" out loud, and hilarity ensues—which gives way to existential angst: "The book ends?!" exclaims an appalled Gerald. Emergent readers just beginning to grapple one-on-one with the rules of the printed codex will find the friends' antics both funny and provocative: Just who is in control here, anyway? As always, Willems displays his customary control of both body language and pacing even as he challenges his readers to engage with his characters and the physicality of their book. The friends' solution to the book's imminent end? "Hello. Will you please read us again?" You bet. (Early reader. 4-8) Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
School Library Journal Reviews 2010 November
PreS-Gr 2--Make room for another satisfying episode in the escapades of lovable Elephant (aka Gerald) and Piggie. This time the best buddies star in a witty metafictional romp replete with visual gags, such as Piggie hanging from a speech bubble and Elephant blocking the author's name on the title page. Willems revs up the fun when the friends realize that someone is watching. Who can it be? Cautious Gerald asks, "A monster?" while savvy Piggie answers, "No. It is...a reader! A reader is reading us!" Mirth ensues as the delightful creatures comprehend a newfound power: "If the reader reads out loud," they can make the reader say words. Piggie decides upon "Banana" and Gerald's sidesplitting laughter proves contagious for all involved. But, when Gerald learns that books end, with Piggie demonstrating by turning the bottom corner of the page to see how many are left, he shouts, "This book is going too fast! I have more to give!" Not to worry--the ever-resourceful Piggie has Gerald ask, "Will you please read us again?" Beginning readers will grant Gerald's request, while grown-ups will marvel at Willems's extraordinary ability to animate his personality-packed gray and pink characters with the widest range of emotions, all drawn with the simplest of line.--Alicia Eames, New York City Public Schools [Page 87]. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.