Posts tagged ‘books’

Review: I Am Going! by Mo Willems

The cover of Mo Willems's book I AM GOING! from the Elephant and Piggie series

I’ve written before about my love for Mo Willems and I finally got to the top of the holds list at my local public library for the latest in his Elephant and Piggie series, I AM GOING!. It’s currently #8 on the New York Times Children’s Book Bestsellers List; Willems also holds spots #5 and #7 for CAT THE CAT, WHO IS THAT? and LET’S SAY HI TO FRIENDS WHO FLY!, respectively.

Willems’s sense of body language and facial expressions are once again spot-on: with a restricted vocabulary, so much is conveyed through an arched eyebrow or a tilted ear, and there’s a lot of humor Piggie being flipped upside-down by Gerald’s outbursts. And I love the humor in the details with Piggie’s watch existing only when she needs to check the time and the Pigeon’s cameo on Gerald’s silly hat and the Piggie-themed calendar (I’d buy that!).

The book also touches on a lot of developmentally appropriate ideas and literacy concepts. When Gerald is trying to persuade Piggie to leave later, he asks in specific increments of time of increasing size (tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year). Readers learn that tiny text in a big bubble means whispering or whimpering, and are exposed to italicized words along with their non-emphasized counterparts (“Why? Why? Why? Why?“). Adding “Who will I skip with?”, “Who will I play Ping-Pong with?” and “Who will I wear a silly hat with?” becomes “WHO WILL I SKIP AND PLAY PING-PONG IN A SILLY HAT WITH?!?!”

But I have to admit that this isn’t my favorite of the Elephant and Piggie books. (That would probably be THERE IS A BIRD ON YOUR HEAD! or ARE YOU READY TO PLAY OUTSIDE? or maybe even I WILL SURPRISE MY FRIEND!) It seems like the book focuses too much on the build-up to the twist, and the dialog is fairly one-sided (which was especially evident when Brittany and I read the book aloud to Erin during lunch).

Don’t get me wrong, though. Mo Willems’s books, even the ones that aren’t his best, are still at the top of the heap when it comes to children’s books. This entire series is a must-have for any library with beginning readers for their story and humor, which appeal to children and grown-ups alike.

(Have I mentioned how totally hilarious I find it that @The_Pigeon follows both @ChicagoHotDog and @GreyhoundBus?)

March 9, 2010 at 11:12 PM Leave a comment