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My Friend is Sad (An Elephant and Piggie Book) Hardcover – March 13, 2007
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From School Library Journal
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Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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....Read more ›
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.
My son is six years old, and learning to read. I search high and low for early readers that are at a beginner's level AND entertaining, yet usually end up very disappointed. Most early readers have little plot and are dull to even my six-year-old. With Elephant and Piggie, the humor is at a level of sophistication that both he and I can enjoy.
The illustrations, though simple, are so expressive! My son can read these books independently, but our favorite method is to each take a role of one of the characters and take turns reading the book together.
Did I read that Mo Willems worked on Sesame Street at one time? That would explain the cleverness of his books, and the ability to appeal to both adults and children alike. We have loved all of his books that we have read, especially the Pigeon books and Knuffle Bunny, and of course, Elephant and Piggie! We are eagerly awaiting the release of his next books!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I had heard how loved and respected this author is and was not impressed with an other of his books. This book is superb. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Persop
This is a funny book about friendship with Piggie and Gerald. Gerald is sad, so Piggie goes all out to cheer Gerald up. He dresses up as a cowboy, a clown and a robot. Read morePublished 2 months ago by L. M. Keefer
My 4 year old great-granddaughter loves Gerald and Piggie. She has her mommy read the stories often and is able to memorize most of the words. A great book by Mo Willems.Published 4 months ago by Lorraine Banks
My husband, my daughter (just turned two years old), and I absolutely LOVE the Elephant and Piggie books. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Jacqueline
My 4 yr old grandson received this book...he loves to read, so I hope he liked it! I loved sending it to him, and the author gets awesome reviews.Published 6 months ago by Misc2be
My daughter loves these books and if you read them it's easy to see why. Very cute and nicely written/illustrated.Published 7 months ago by Cheetos72