Posts Tagged ‘elephants’

Happy Pig Day!

November 1, 2011

Happy Pig Day! (An Elephant and Piggie Book)Happy Pig Day!
by Mo Willems

Piggie is so excited because it’s the best day of the year – Happy Pig Day!  That means there must be a pig party with pig songs and pig food and pig games!  And it’s a great time to practice speaking pig – oink!  There are pigs partying everywhere! But Gerald quickly starts feeling left out.  He didn’t know it was Happy Pig Day, and he doesn’t know how to speak pig.  How can he be happy for his friend when he doesn’t feel like he fits in?

I get excited for new Mo Willems books like some people get excited about new CDs from their favorite bands. The Elephant and Piggie franchise may be my favorite of his works.  Happy Pig Day! does not disappoint.  It’s everything you come to expect from these clever, emotional characters in terse, expressive sentences.  Solid.

I would also like to share my Halloween costume with you, readers.  An homage.

Book image taken from

Elephant and Piggie

August 7, 2011

Librarianista Spotlight on: Elephant and Piggie
by Mo Willems

Elephant and Piggie are two great friends!  To date, they have adventures in 15 books:

  • Today I Will Fly!
  • My Friend Is Sad
  • There’s a Bird on Your Head!
  • I Am Invited to a Party!
  • I Love My New Toy!
  • I Will Surprise My Friend!
  • Are You Ready to Play Outside?
  • Watch Me Throw the Ball!
  • Elephants Cannot Dance!
  • Pigs Make Me Sneeze!
  • I Am Going!
  • Can I Play Too?
  • We Are in a Book!
  • I Broke My Trunk!
  • Should I Share My Ice Cream?

These books are designed for beginning readers using a basic vocabulary and comic book-style, color coded word bubbles.

And in my humble opinion, these books are hilarious.  I’m 24, and I was laughing at them.  Willems knows his way around kids’ stuff, that’s for darned sure.  The stories are easy to follow and highly relatable to young readers.  The drawings are magically simple, but they evoke great emotion (typically in my case, it’s a reaction of hilarity or adorability).  If I ever reproduce, my kids will have these books.

They are all wonderful.  There’s not one that I didn’t like (and I just read them all).  But if I had to pick a favorite?  I’d have to say either We Are in a Book!, Can I Play Too?, I Am Invited to a Party! or There’s a Bird on Your Head!  I realize that’s more than one favorite, but since I’m the blogger, I make the rules for my own posts.

Images taken from

The Thingamabob

May 25, 2011

The ThingamabobThe Thingamabob
by Il Sung Na

One day he found a thingamabob.  He didn’t know what it was or where it came from.  He didn’t know what to do with it, and neither did his friends.  It’s no good for sailing or flying or hiding.  What do you do, thingamabob?!

Holy cuteface!  I want every illustration in this book to jump off and give me a hug.  Stylish, simple, expressive – this book is like a happy dream.  I would love for Na to paint my walls.

Image taken from

The Magician’s Elephant

March 2, 2011

The Magician's ElephantThe Magician’s Elephant
by Kate DiCamillo and Yoko Tanaka (illus.)

A boy training to be a soldier with the heart of a hero.  A poet disguised as a policeman.  A little girl who is in need of a family.  A small, unsuspecting European town in the dead of winter and an elephant is literally dropped into their laps.  It seems impossible.  It is impossible, but it happened.  If one impossible thing can happen in an instant, what else can happen with just the right words and the right heart?

Two orphans, a cop, a crippled noblewoman, her servant, a blind dog, a beggar, a hunchback, a nun and an elephant all walk into a jail…  Sounds like a bad joke, right?  It’s actually the cusp of a piece of literature so beautiful, it brought tears to my eyes.  While I didn’t find the plot to be anything that exceeded expectations, DiCamillo’s way with words does something magical.  It’s like she slowly builds these emotions up as you read and you don’t even notice it until BAM!  In one turn of phrase, you’re sniffling and tasting the sweetest tears you’ve ever leaked as they run down your cheeks.  Holy cow.

Image taken from

Seven Blind Mice

March 26, 2010

Seven Blind Mice (Reading Railroad)Seven Blind Mice
by Ed Young

Guzzled this morning: tall blended strawberry lemonade.

Seven blind mice are baffled by this new thing that has shown up in their pond (why mice have a pond, I’m not sure).  Every day of the week, a different mouse goes out and inspects this thing, each of them coming back saying something different, and they all start fighting about what this thing is (remember, they are blind, so they can’t see it like the reader can).  Finally on Sunday, the white mouse goes out to the thing and inspects it from top to bottom.  It is this mouse who discovers what this mystery thing really is.

As far as picture books go, this one’s story is okay.  For younger children, this book reinforces color naming and the days of the week.  But I’m not a fan of books that come right out and say “the moral of this story is…” which this one does.  Bad literary tactic.  But this book’s visual qualities are outstanding, which is why it was a Caldecott Honor Book.  Very few book illustrations are done on a black background, but it completely reinforces the darkness that these mice live in.  The crushed paper effect of the animals also makes the illustrations not feel so cartoonish, but much more bookish, if that makes any sense.  I though that the pictures in the book were incredible, even if the text wasn’t.  You don’t even need to read the last page (where the moral lies), and you will be satisfied with this book.

Image taken from


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