From School Library Journal
Starred Review. Kindergarten-Grade 2—In classic Willems style, the characters' expressions and body language carry both stories, with the deceptively simple line art saying far more than the slight, though whimsical, texts. When Gerald accidentally breaks Piggie's new toy, he is by turns ashamed, chagrined, and apologetic. Piggie is mad, sad, and finally embarrassed (a squirrel shows them that the "broken toy" is of the "break-and-snap" variety). The pals then decide that playing together is more fun than playing with a toy anyway. In the second title, the two watch a squirrel surprise a friend by jumping out from behind a rock. Mischievous Gerald and Piggie then plan together how to "surprise" one another in the same way. They sit behind opposite sides of a large stone and wait to be surprised. And wait. And wait. And worry. Savvy readers will know exactly what happens when each friend thinks that the other has left. These masterful mini-dramas will delight and amuse easy-reader and picture-book audiences, alike.—Kelly Roth, Bartow County Public Library, Cartersville, GA
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*Starred Review* In this new addition to the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award–winning Elephant and Piggie series, Piggie has a great new toy, although she’s not exactly sure what it does. Elephant thinks that perhaps it’s a throwing toy. And throw it he does, right up in the air, and then it smashes in two pieces. Uh-oh. At first it seems as though there will be a break in the friendship as well as a broken toy. Elephant’s “sorry” is not accepted by Piggie, though they do share a few tears. When Squirrel comes around and spots the toy as one of the “break-and-snap” variety, showing it’s as good as new, the friends soon realize that playing together is more fun than any old toy. This offers plenty of opportunity for new readers to learn useful words like sad and mad, but the charm comes in the way Willems captures the emotions of young children, sometimes with a line of dialogue (“You broke it!”), and sometimes with an artful drawn line that says as much as words. Grades K-2. --Ilene Cooper