Tuesday, February 23, 2010

How a Pig, an Elephant, and a Pigeon Saved My Life

I have only just recently discovered the genius that is Mo Willems.

Mr. Willems has turned me on my head with his book characters.  I loooooove me some animals that talk.  Especially in books, where I can give them the voice I think they should have (instead of like the time that Garfield was turned into a cartoon after being in the newspaper for so many years and they gave him the voice of some 55 year old gravely, bitter, smoker guy.  ugh, that was awful!).  So, one day in the excellent Dog Eared Books, I happened upon Elephant (whose name is Gerald) and Piggie and they absolutely made me swoon!  I couldn't get over their funny, dry way of talking to each other.  The facial expressions and the simple sentences were too good to be true!

And then I found the pigeon books.  Holy Smokes.
I sat on the floor of the bookstore and cried, I was laughing so hard.  This pigeon, he drives a hard bargain.  And you can just hear the sarcasm dripping from his little beak.  I read every pigeon book they had:  one about him wanting a puppy, one about his loving hotdogs, another one about him trying to stay up late.  I mean, the premise for the books are so exquisitely simple and yet I've never seen anything like them.
I've bought three of the Piggie & Elephant books so far and am going back for all the pigeon books, too.  The book store didn't have my favorite Piggie & Elephant book available:  The one where Gerald, the Elephant, is really sad and Piggie tries to cheer him up.  Piggie dresses up as all these things that she knows Gerald likes and he gets happy, but just for a moment.  Finally, Piggie comes to Gerald as herself and asks why he's still sad.  He tells her he saw all these wonderful, fabulous, fantastical, amazing things...and Piggie's smile gets bigger and bigger and then says, 'yes! yes! yes! but then why are you still so sad?!'  and Elephant yells, 'because you, my best friend, weren't there to enjoy it with me!'

Oh, stop the cuteness!


Marion Williams-Bennett said...

Oh, I love these books and love that you found them, too! Sarcasm in children's books just cracks me up.

The best line though is at the end, from Piggie:

because you, my best friend, weren't there to enjoy it with me!'


Katie said...

Darling posting. My daughter is a first grade teacher, I don't know if she's read these to her children or not.....I pass on many of your postings to her, we both love them.