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We Are in a Book! (An Elephant and Piggie Book) Hardcover – September 14, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2–Make room for another satisfying episode in the escapades of lovable Elephant (aka Gerald) and Piggie. This time the best buddies star in a witty metafictional romp replete with visual gags, such as Piggie hanging from a speech bubble and Elephant blocking the author's name on the title page. Willems revs up the fun when the friends realize that someone is watching. Who can it be? Cautious Gerald asks, “A monster?” while savvy Piggie answers, “No. It is...a reader! A reader is reading us!” Mirth ensues as the delightful creatures comprehend a newfound power: “If the reader reads out loud,” they can make the reader say words. Piggie decides upon “Banana” and Gerald's sidesplitting laughter proves contagious for all involved. But, when Gerald learns that books end, with Piggie demonstrating by turning the bottom corner of the page to see how many are left, he shouts, “This book is going too fast! I have more to give!” Not to worry–the ever-resourceful Piggie has Gerald ask, “Will you please read us again?” Beginning readers will grant Gerald's request, while grown-ups will marvel at Willems's extraordinary ability to animate his personality-packed gray and pink characters with the widest range of emotions, all drawn with the simplest of line.–Alicia Eames, New York City Public Schoolsα(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

In their latest pairing, Elephant and Piggie are finally ready to get meta. Realizing that their trademark blank background is, in fact, a page, the duo has a blast convincing the reader to say funny things out loud—until Piggie mentions that the book will soon end. Cue Elephant’s existential crisis: “WHEN WILL THE BOOK END!?!” From there on, it’s a cute—but never too heady—play on the physical object that the reader is holding, including a bit where Piggie appears to flip the pages forward to get a sense of how much time they have left. Willems’ satisfying (if self-serving) solution? Read it again! Preschool-Grade 2. --Daniel Kraus
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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 (September 14, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1423133080
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423133087
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (293 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #525 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 56 people found the following review helpful By John X Crimmins on September 29, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I brought this book home from the library last week, as I do with everything that Mo Willems writes. My oldest, a 1st grader, read the book aloud and laughed repeatedly at the silliness. Admittedly, I got to hear "Banana!" a lot more than I really wanted that night, but that's the price you pay for quality fiction.

My youngest, a toddler, curled up with the book on the floor and leafed through it again and again, giggling hysterically at the pictures. He particularly loves Piggie leaning forward to stare at the reader, but the illustrations, so clear and expressive and silly, are all wonderful.

And me, I'm really looking forward to using the book in a storytime next week. Interactive books like this, like There Are Cats in This Book or The Monster at the End of this Book, are perfect selections to read to groups of preschoolers. They love being able to become part of the story.
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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Diana on October 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover
We are big fans of Gerald and Piggie, and of Mo Willems in general, and this is a pitch perfect book for both kids and adults. With what is probably a nod to Grover in the immortal classic The Monster at the End of this Book (Sesame Street) (Big Little Golden Book), Gerald and Piggie practically jump from the page to engage the reader. I read this book during a (child free) stroll in the bookstore, and basically made a fool of myself laughing uncontrollably, but the book is such a delightful joy that I couldn't have cared less. Don't hesitate, Readers - this is a classic for your permanent library. Thanks, Mo!
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By PH-50-NC on December 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover
"....I think [We Are In a Book] is perhaps the most profound document of our time. It is about Elephant and Piggy, as they are 1.) sitting in the book and realizing that you are reading their book, 2.) watching you read the book, and then 3.) realizing that the book will come to an end. And getting increasingly anxious about what it would mean for the book to come to an end, what will happen to them. It's a meditation about textuality, and mostly, it's a meditation about death. It is about the consciousness of death. It is spooky--I read this book once, briefly, about four days ago at a friend's house, and I haven't been able to get it out of my head. It is a cheerful, and loving, and magnificent piece of art, and yet, at the same time, it will haunt your dreams. I strongly suggest you get it....it's like [The Monster at the End of This Book], but it's more profound than that. I mean, that's a fantastic book, don't get me wrong, but the Elephant and Piggy book is...really, is grim." -David Plotz, Slate.com's Political Gabfest, 2011/12/02.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By batkim12 on October 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the best kids book I've ever read. Mo Willems is always awesome but this one goes above and beyond. It may help to have read a few other Elephant and Piggie books to get to know the characters first, but even if you've never seen another, its fantastic. Lots of breaking the forth wall going on in here and its done amazingly fantastically well. All the Elephant and Piggie books are fantastic, My kids love them and so do my husband and I.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By S. Rinder on June 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My 3-year-old grandson loves this book and so do I. As always with Mo Willems, the illustrations are delightful; Piggie looking back at you as you read the book is hilarious. The trick Elephant plays on the reader never fails to delight my grandson. (Who knew the work "Banana" was so funny?) And then it gets even better as Elephant realizes it is almost over. This book is one clever twist after another.

The best part is that my grandson started to act out the story, crying out "I have more to give!" over breakfast. The world is a better place with Mo Willems in it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Alison's VINE VOICE on March 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Wonderful addition to our library!

It's no secret that we are HUGE fans of Mo Willems in this house, and this recent Elephant and Piggie book is one of our favorites!

I have to tell the story of how this book came into our home, bear with me for a quick minute.

Last week, my Kindergartner came home from his 100th day of school celebration with 100 pieces of candy - NOT my idea, by the way. After school, we drove over to our local indie bookstore, Clinton Book Shop, where I picked up a great book for myself and one for The 8 Year Old. The 6 year old was looking around, and came to me holding We Are In A Book! by Mo Willems - The 6 Year Old can spot his artwork from 50 feet away.

I offered him a trade - 90 pieces of his candy for We Are In A Book!. He looked at the book, and I could see his little mind going, taking a mental inventory of the candies that were in his bag. Finally, he put his hand out and said "DEAL!"

The 6 Year Old was giggling in the backseat all the way home from the bookshop, and couldn't wait to read it to me again that night before bed...and the next night...and the next night.

Let me tell you something, even though sugar makes my kids loony, this book has given us all more laughs than a pound of candy could have offered. Elephant (Gerald) and Piggie, who are old friends to us at this point, are sitting comfortably when they realize they are being watched...by the reader! They realize that the reader is reading the little word bubbles on the page. Then, Piggie gets a great idea - he wants to see if he can make the reader say a funny word. Elephant, Piggie, and my little reader think this is a hilarious game!

Not only does the humor in We Are In A Book! not get old, it ENCOURAGES the kids to read the book themselves. Even when I offer to read the book to him, my little guy refuses. Happy mom, I am!

My new favorite Mo Willems book! Love it!
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We Are in a Book! (An Elephant and Piggie Book)
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