The latest entry in this popular series for beginning readers features a new holiday: It's Happy Pig Day, and Gerald the elephant is feeling left out.
The elements that have made this series so successful and enduring are all present once again: a clean design (white background, lack of extraneous details, large type in word bubbles, etc.), a friendship theme and a satisfying resolution. This time around, Piggie announces the upcoming festivities, and at first Gerald's excited: "Ooooh! I did not know about Happy Pig Day." But the day soon sours for him, as three pig friends seem to be monopolizing his best friend's attention. It's not until Piggie reveals the truth about these pigs and Happy Pig Day that peace is restored. "Happy Pig Day is for . . . Anyone," begins Piggie, and a squirrel, cat and bear whip off their pig-costume heads, shouting "Who!" "Loves!" "Pigs!" respectively. Ostensibly about celebrating porcine pride, this explores coping with feelings a child may have upon learning a best friend may actually have other friends.
Several Elephant & Piggie books have received Geisel Awards or Honors, for books for beginning readers; this one will not only encourage kids to give reading a go but will also teach them at least a few words in a new language: " 'Oinky! Oink! Oink!' ... 'means Happy Pig Day in Pig.' " (Early reader. 4-8)Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
It's "the best day of the year"--Happy Pig Day! Piggie goes hog-wild with his porcine friends, but Gerald feels left out and shrinks away. After Piggie finds his friend, Gerald works himself into an existential meltdown: "I do not have a snout. I do not have hooves! I am not pink! I want to say, ‘Happy Pig Day' in Pig! But I am not a pig." As always, Willems's delightfully mismatched best friends communicate with bold declarations and gestural expressions that convey a vast range of recognizable emotions--from the agony of feeling left out to unbridled joy at celebrating all things pig. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)[Page ]. Copyright 2011 PWxyz LLC
PreS-Gr 3--Beginning readers will delight in this funny tale. Gerald and Piggie are celebrating "The day of the pig" with pig songs, pig dances, pig food, pig games, and friends wishing one another "oinky, oink oink," which is "pig for Happy Pig Day!" Gerald the elephant seems genuinely interested in this celebration until Piggie's friends start speaking "pig" and he feels left out. The animated characters convey emotion and humor; masterful use of white space and comic-style text bubbles will inspire repeated readings. Another hit for Willems.--Melissa Smith, Royal Oak Public Library, MI[Page 97]. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.