Get ready for the funniest books of the year! I was audibly cracking up the first time I read these, in the publisher’s booth at the ALA exhibit. Mo Willems has created the ultimate early reader series. Lovable characters, humorous stories, and brilliant, deceptively simple illustrations make these irresistible.
Elephant Gerald (Get it? Say it aloud, and think of jazz music) and Piggie are best friends. Piggie has a generally positive outlook on things, while Gerald tends toward pessimism. Each book in the series follows a conversation they are having with each other. These books are great choices for reading along with young kids -- have the adult do one character and the child the other.
Check out Piggie’s facial expression when she shows her party invitation to Gerald in my personal favorite of the four books, I Am Invited to a Party! (pg. 6). The characters’ emotions are impeccably conveyed in Willems’ pencil-and-ink illustrations. That’s what makes these characters and their stories so endearing. If it were up to me, one of these books would definitely win the Geisel Award this year.