Monday, March 29, 2010

The Emergent Reader's Laughapalooza: I Am Going! by Mo Willems

Ewan's sense of humour is very theatrical these days.  And he is proudly learning to read all by himself.  These two attributes converge to make Mo Willem's Elephant and Piggie Beginning Reader series the go-to books in our house right now.  I've become such a fan of this series over the past few years that I'm really starting to wonder if perhaps Mo, although widely known and wildly loved for his many  picture books (among them Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! and  Knuffle Bunny) may in fact be at his very best when writing for this audience.  Because let's face it, learning to read is hard and can feel like a big struggle for many kids.  But  Elephant and Piggie books are all so full of life and drama and just pure spot-on hilarity, they turn the drudgery of deciphering text into a laughapalooza (I just made that word up). 

Willem's latest Elephant and Piggie offering, I Am Going!  begins when Piggie, who is hanging out with her friend Elephant,  tells him that she is going.  Elephant panics.  (See the book cover.)  Piggie is his best friend!  She cannot go!  He won't let her!  As he becomes increasingly hysterical ("Go tomorrow!  Go next week!  Go next month!  GO NEXT YEAR!!!" he wails), and then sulky (fine, he decides, he'll go too!  Watch him go!  Look at him--he's going! Piggie's not the only one who can go!)  he forgets to ask the big question--where the heck is Piggie going, anyway?

Hmmm.  It turns out she's going to lunch. 


Now Ewan's swanning around the house shouting "I WON'T LET YOU GO!"  and "GO TOMORROW!  GO NEXT WEEK!..."et cetera, et cetera.  And then laughing like crazy.  I'm sure people who don't know Elephant and Piggie think he's being very strange.  But Ewan, Mo and I, we're in on the joke.  And we love  it.

Here's Mo, admitting that Elephant and Piggie are his favourite characters:

No comments: