Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Play with Elephant and Piggie for a while...

I have not been liking anything I have picked up lately and I'm reading some dry adult non-fiction, so there isn't much for me to blog about right now. Instead, I will give you the link to the Elephant and Piggie Dance game from Mo Willems, which is not new, but still gives me the giggles. Enjoy!

If you are not familiar with Elephant and Piggie, they are the stars of a series of early reader books by Mo Willems (who also wrote Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus). Here is my recent review of an Elephant and Piggie book, I Will Surprise My Friend:

Elephant and Piggie are good friends. As they are walking, they see a squirrel surprise his friend, making everyone laugh. Elephant and Piggie decide together that it would be really fun to surprise each other. After sneakily hiding on either side of a rock, each friend waits for the other to appear. When neither friend sees the other, each friend begins to worry that something has happened to the other. Characteristically, Elephant envisions terrible scenes of what might have happened to Piggie. Piggie imagines Elephant may have become hungry for lunch. Lost in their own daydreams, Elephant and Piggie each leap from the rock and startle each other. Elephant and Piggie discover that not all surprises are funny—but readers will find the situation very funny, indeed. Showing his unfailing understanding of children’s humor, Willems has created a delightful story for very early readers. What is really wonderful about the Elephant and Piggie stories is how skillfully Willems uses the simplest words combined with illustrations of outstanding expressiveness to convey rather complicated ideas. Each arch of an eyebrow, position of an arm, and line of motion tells the story and cues early readers to recognize the thoughts behind the words and teaches plotting and pacing. The illustrations are done in Willems’ standard line art style and with a limited color palette, which highlights the action in the illustrations better than a busier page would. These stories are terrific for early readers but can also be enjoyed by younger children when read aloud or by older children who will continue to enjoy Willems’ trademark humor.

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