Author(s): Mo Willems
Gerald is careful. Piggie is not.Piggie cannot help smiling. Gerald can.Gerald worries so that Piggie does not have to. Gerald and Piggie are best friends. In My New Friend Is So Fun!, Piggie has found a new friend! But is Gerald ready to share?
Winner of Maryland Blue Crab Young Reader Award (Beginning Fiction) 2015. Commended for Cybils (Easy Readers) 2014.
PreS-Gr 1 What is friendship? Gerald reveals his pessimistic thoughts when he explores the "what ifs" as Snake tells him about their best friends' blissful discovery of each other. All is joy at first-Piggie and Brian Bat are perfect playmates, and the really fun time becomes a super-fun time. Unfortunately, Gerald becomes convinced that he and Snake are losing their best friends, and the resulting insecurities crowd out all positive thoughts: " We must do something! We must tell them to stop having fun!'" Piggie and Brian are even playing BEST FRIEND GAMES! Speech bubbles; clearly drawn, simple line drawings; and easily visible facial expressions all provide clues to the inner thoughts of these pals. Gerald worries, while Piggie channels his adventurous side and forges ahead. Another forte for the unlikely pair-text repetition and diversity of font emphasize an overblown situation with a simple solution that demonstrates trusted friendships are not easily erased. A must-buy for "Elephant & Piggie" fans. Mary Elam, Learning Media Services, Plano ISD, TX SLJ" Gerald and Snake stare down an introvert's worst fear when they suddenly realize that their best friends, Piggie and Brian Bat, are spending time together. At first, they are happy to find out that their friends have met, but soon they realize that friends as nice as Piggie and Brian might prefer new companions to old. As Gerald and Snake decide to put a stop to the fun they imagine the two having together, their anxiety is exacerbated by a misunderstanding about who's being referred to as a best friend. Fortunately, Piggie and Brian remain committed to their original buddies, and all ends well on the endpapers where Gerald, Snake, and Pigeon play their own game of drawing pictures of their best friends. Brian Bat's overly large, oval, sclera-less eyes are just a tad creepy, but his constant smile and expressive mirroring of Piggie assure readers that he is a worthy addition to the crew; the use of blushing as a charming visual indicator of bashful pride is particularly effective in this outing, too. Nervous friends will appreciate the book's reassuring point about trusting old loyalties and expanding one's friendship circle. Even amidst the repetition and the simplicity of controlled vocabulary, Willems manages to hit that singular moment where even the most restrained readers can't help but bark out a laugh (conduct an experiment with friends, and you'll find it), indicating that the rhythm of expectation and novelty are expertly manipulated, once again, to maximize cognitive growth in this early reader. KC BCCB" Gerald runs into Snake, and the two engage in casual conversation. As it happens, Piggie (Gerald's best friend, you remember) is hanging out with Brian Bat, Snake's best friend. At first, Gerald and Snake are pleased that such nice creatures are having fun, but in no time, the two work themselves up into a (rather typical) lather, worrying that Piggie and Brian will become best friends with each other, leaving Gerald and Snake behind. Of course, such worry is folly-all the while, Piggie and Brian are extolling the virtues of their current besties-and the story ends with everyone's social circle enhanced. All of the requisite Elephant and Piggie elements are here, with expressive type size, colored word balloons (which now include green and brown in addition to the traditional gray and pink), apoplectic bedlam, and warm resolution. Elephant and Piggie's many friends will welcome these two new characters into the fold. Thom Barthelmess Booklist Online" Can Gerald and Piggie's friendship withstand the friendly overtures of Brian Bat? When Snake informs Gerald that Piggie is playing with Brian Bat, he is at first complacent. Brian is "nice," he observes; Snake concurs-after all, he says, "Brian is my Best Friend!" Their mutual reflection that Piggie and Brian "must be having a super-duper fun time!" turns, however, to paranoia when they realize that if their best pals "are having that much fun together, then / maybe they do not need us" (that last is printed in teeny-tiny, utterly demoralized type). Gerald and Snake dash/slither to put an end to the fun. Their fears are confirmed when the two new buddies tell them they have "been playing BEST FRIEND GAMES!"-which, it turns out, means making drawings of their respective best friends, Gerald and Snake. Awww. While the buildup to the friends' confrontation is characteristically funny, there's a certain feeling of anticlimax to the story's resolution. How many young children, when playing with a new friend, are likely to spend their time thinking of the friends that they are not playing with? This is unfortunate, as the emotions that Gerald and Snake experience are realistic and profound, deserving of more than a platitudinous, unrealistic response. Everything that readers have come to love about the Elephant & Piggie books is present-masterful pacing, easy-to-follow, color-coded speech bubbles, hilarious body language-except an emotionally satisfying ending. (Early reader. 6-8) Kirkus" * "These books will easily take their place alongside Seuss and Eastman as classics in the beginning-reader genre."--The Bulletin (starred review) * "These masterful mini-dramas will delight and amuse easy-reader and picture-book audiences, alike."--School Library Journal (starred review) PRAISE FOR THE ELEPHANT & PIGGIE SERIES: * "Accessible, appealing, and full of authentic emotions about what makes friendships tick, these titles will put a contemporary shine on easy reader collections."--Booklist (starred review) PRAISE FOR THE ELEPHANT & PIGGIE SERIES: * "Accessible, appealing, and full of authentic emotions about what makes friendships tick, these titles will put a contemporary shine on easy reader collections." "Booklist (starred review)""
Mo Willems (www.pigeonpresents.com), a number one "New York Times "best-selling author and illustrator, has been awarded a Caldecott Honor on three occasions (for "Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!," "Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale," and "Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity"). "Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!" was also an inaugural inductee into the Indies Choice Picture Book Hall of Fame. And his celebrated Elephant & Piggie early-reader series has been awarded the Theodor Seuss Geisel Medal on two occasions (for "There Is a Bird on Your Head! "and "Are You Ready to Play Outside?") as well as three Honors (for We Are in a Book!, I Broke My Trunk!, and Let's Go for a Drive!).Other favorites include "Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed" and "City Dog, Country Frog," illustrated by Jon J Muth. Mo lives with his family in Massachusetts. See above.