Friday, January 16, 2009
January Pick for the Older Sibling: Mo Willems, My Friend is Sad
I LOVE ELEPHANT AND PIGGIE! Honestly. So, for your readertotz' older sibling, I'm excited to recommend My Friend is Sad by Mo Willems.
Restraining myself from commenting on any of his other award winning books, let's talk Gerald Elephant and Piggie, this generation's George and Martha by James Marshall.
When Piggie finds his friend sad, he goes to great measures to cheer him up. He dresses as a cowboy, clown, and a robot. Gerald fails to recognize Piggie so his sadness increases as he believes his close friend is missing all of these amazing encounters.
Piggie, who is impetuous and bold, has far more self control than I do. He never tells Elephant it was he all along. He merely tells him, "I am here NOW!" That is awe inspiring maturity. :~)
To the art. Every line of these characters performing in white negative space communicates emotion. Every beat, including the silent ones, are perfectly timed. Piggie looks to the reader with his irritation, and one can't help laughing. As Elephant sinks deeper and deeper in sadness, his mouth shrivels and the lines about his eyes increase. Mo's lines win my heart.
Mo began as a writer and animator for Sesame Street where he garnered six Emmy Awards. You can visit Mo Willems Doodles Blogspot. And watch this awesome video where Mo talks about his work. Take note: he loves Elephant and Piggie best, just like me!
And then check out Bookie Woogie's review of two other Elephant and Piggie Books. Bookie Woogie rocks!
For the Older Sibling
My Friend is Sad
by Mo Willems
Lorie Ann Grover, author/illustrator