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My Friend is Sad (An Elephant and Piggie Book) Hardcover – March 13, 2007

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My Friend is Sad (An Elephant and Piggie Book) + Should I Share My Ice Cream? (An Elephant and Piggie Book) + There Is a Bird On Your Head! (An Elephant and Piggie Book)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - Kindergarten
  • Series: An Elephant and Piggie Book
  • Hardcover: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion; 1 edition (March 13, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1423102975
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423102977
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,111 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3–In these two easy-to-read books, Willems introduces two best friends. Gerald is a slightly stodgy, bespectacled elephant with a stumpy, downturned trunk. Piggie is more daring and whimsical, and, like many friends, the two complement one another. In My Friend Is Sad, Piggie tries hard to cheer her dejected friend. She disguises herself as a cowboy, clown, and a robot, but Gerald doesn't recognize her and is sad because she isn't there to enjoy the fun. Without missing a beat, Piggie points out that he needs new glasses. In Today I Will Fly, Piggie announces her intention to do so to her skeptical pal. In the end, though, Gerald is making adventurous plans of his own. With just a few tweaks of his expressive lines, Willems creates engaging characters. The stories move briskly, with a minimal word count and touches of whimsy throughout. Fans of the author's previous books should check the endpapers for a cameo appearance of his familiar pigeon. These simple, humorous stories will sound just the right note for beginning readers.–Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Graphic-novel influences have reached into most areas of children's book publishing; here, they crop up in a classic genre--the friendship-duo easy reader--and chalk up yet another success for two-time Caldecott Honor winner Willems. The basic approach is familiar from Willems' previous books, especially Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (2003). It's as if each page were one frame of a comic strip: characters zip in and out of white space, proffer speech-bubble remarks, and express emotion through spot-on body language. In My Friend Is Sad, upbeat, outgoing Piggie cavorts to cheer up depressed Elephant, whose doldrums are obvious from his furrowed brow and drooping, stovepipelike trunk. Not having recognized his costumed pal, the myopic elephant remains sad because Piggie missed out on the fun. Accessible, appealing, and full of authentic emotions about what makes friendships tick, this will put a contemporary shine on easy-reader collections and give Willems' many fans--whatever their age or reading level--two more characters to love. (Vying for their affections is that irrepressible pigeon, who, still utterly in character, finds his way onto the endpapers.) Jennifer Mattson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

A three-time Caldecott Honor winner for Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale, and Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity, Mo Willems has also won two Geisel Medals for There is a Bird on Your Head! and Are You Ready to Play Outside? And his books are perennial New York Times bestsellers. Before he turned to children's books, Mo was a writer and animator on Sesame Street, where he won six Emmy Awards. Mo lives with his family in Massachusetts.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 46 customer reviews
If you love to laugh, these books are for you.
Elephant may have been sad, but apparently he's even sadder that Piggy missed all the things which cheered him up....the cowboy, the clown, and the robot!
M. Allen Greenbaum
The stories are interesting and funny, using simple, easy to read words.
Reading Fanatic (CMP)

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Anne-Marie G VINE VOICE on March 22, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Mo Willems has worked his magic yet again. In two new books, "Today I will Fly" And "My Friend is Sad" he introduces two new characters to his cast--Piggie, an upbeat and optomistic pig and her best friend, Gerald a more melancholy, 'realistic' elephant who wears glasses.

Piggie enters the pages of the book to find, Gerald, her best friend in a very glum mood--he's so wrapped up in it that he does not even notice her. She then goes about trying ways to cheer him up--dressing up as a clown and a cowboy for example. Each new attempt, inspite of Gerald loving clowns and cowboys, makes the elephant even more miserable.

The illustrations are classic Willems, super expressive but very simple at the same time. Fantastic!

Its a sweet book about friendship and is great for a younger audience. Its on a similar level as "Green Eggs and Ham" and clearly the publisher realised this as it is very similar in shape, size and general physical design to the smaller Dr. Seuss books.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By M. Allen Greenbaum HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on November 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Mo Willems is a master illustrator and storyteller. He's also somewhat of an illusionist. I'll explain.

Out of the simplest elements: Just two characters, a minimal plot, a few words per page, and uncluttered illustrations that must average over 80% "white space" (i.e., the un-illustrated parts of the page), Willems constructs amazingly rich scenes that surprise us with their enormous humor, subtle understanding, and underlying complexity.

Here, Gerard the elephant tells his pal Piggie that he feels sad. Elephant's labeling of this emotion begins with a frown, and then an apparently surprised recognition that he feels blue. Piggie looks out at the reader with concern, stating, "My friend is sad." Later, we see that Elephant seems frightened of his feelings. Piggie declares confidently, "I will make him happy." These six pages of relative gravity set the scene for the entertaining frivolity that follows.

Piggie pulls out all the stops to cheer up his friend: He wear a 10 (at least!) gallon hat, "Yeehawing" about on a pretend horse,, he juggles 5 balls in the air, and wears a faux high tech costume that Gerard figures out is a robot. Piggie is thoughtful, Gerard loves cowboys, clowns, and robots, and he cheers up temporarily. However, each time, his delighted surprise doesn't last, and he is sad again. Piggie, for all his careful planning and attention to detail feels like he has failed his friend. We soon learn, however, that Piggie's disguises were perhaps a little TOO successful...!

Willems, you see, performs a neat little trick here, midway through the book; a clever twist for which we're totally unprepared. Elephant may have been sad, but apparently he's even sadder that Piggy missed all the things which cheered him up....
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amy Henrick on May 25, 2007
Format: Hardcover
My three year old son loves this series. This one is a lot of fun to read to him. We learn about emotions, pretend play, and interpersonal relationships. And there's robots, cowboys, and juggling clowns.

The artwork is expressive and uncomplicated. The dialogue allows for imaginative performance by the reader-- by changing the nuances, you can make it a different experience each time. Which is not to say you have to be a great actor.

These books are different from the pigeon books (also by Mo Willems), in that having two characters allows room for plot and story development on a greater scale. The pigeon books (such as _Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus_) are much more appropriate for a younger child.

The only reason I did not give this particular book a full five stars is that the dialogue in the end of the story is a little flat compared to the excellence of his other books. This book is still a must have.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ulyyf on April 25, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Easy Readers are kinda a pain to deal with. You want to hold your kid's attention naturally (they won't want to read a boring book, and who can blame them?) while teaching them something, and you want them to want to read the book again. Reading a book more than once increases their understanding. (Plus, you probably don't have enough cash to buy enough books for your kid to read them each one time only.)

This is a tough sell. Kids don't want to read "books" that are nothing but thinly done excuses for teaching "-at" words, or practicing their first Dolch list. They want to read literature! Not baby books! And you're holding them back! (And then they open up literature and get frustrated. You just can't win.)

Well, forget all that. Elephant and Piggie is your solution.

These books are definitely easy. They have few words, and a lot of repetition of the words they have. (They're told in (very funny) dialog, and for humor one character often repeats another's sentence verbatim. "But Gerald, you love cowboys." "I do. I love cowboys".)

But they're also FUNNY. I'm a grown-up, I see these jokes telegraphed a mile away, and I still crack up reading them.

And the illustrations! Just enough to help the cautious reader... but not so detailed that the reader can depend entirely on them to tell the story. No, you have to read the words.

These books are wildly funny, and they're educational. Your kid will read them to tatters. What more can you ask?

My favorite part of this book has to be Elephant's utter desolation after the robot incident. Or maybe Piggie's blatant breaking of the fourth wall when she realizes what a doofus her best friend is. Gerald is bemoaning the fact that Piggie was not there to see "A FUNNY FUNNY CLOWN!
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