February 3, 2015
Waiting is Not Easy by Mo Willems
Waiting is Not Easy (An Elephant and Piggie Book)
written and illustrated by Mo Willems
Readers will know something is up as soon as Piggie somersaults onto the page. He has a surprise for Elephant but he won’t say what it is. It is an understatement to say that Elephant does not wait patiently. He wines. He gripes. He gets a little nasty, but still Piggie won’t end the waiting. He simply reassures his friend that it will be worth it.
And it is.
The surprise is the awe-inspiring beauty of a star-filled night sky, something Piggie couldn’t have rushed even if he wanted to. The best part of it is that Elephant gets it. Once he has shared in the surprise he completely and totally gets it and comes up with an equally amazing something to share with his best friend.
I love the characters in the Elephant and Piggie books. While one has a trunk and big ears and the other has a curly tail, they are obviously real children in their behaviors and their attitudes. This is a big part of the reason that young readers identify with these characters. Somewhere in the pair, young readers see themselves.
If you aren’t familiar with the Elephant and Piggie books, these are early readers, suitable for kids who are just learning to read on their own. Willems’ expressive illustrations show the characters’ emotions so clearly that they provide top-notch clues to words that some reader may be struggling to decipher.
That said, as much as these books appeal to new readers, they are also good for reading aloud simply because of the character’s silliness and expressive behavior. Pick up an Elephant and Piggie book to share with a young book lover in your life, but don’t forget to read it yourself. They really are fun!