September 3, 2015
Pigs Make Me Sneeze! by Mo Willems
Piggie has just arrived when Gerald starts sneezing. Gerald comes to the conclusion that he’s sneezes, big, bold and unavoidable, are caused by none other than his best friend. The only way to stop sneezing is to avoid Piggie.
When Gerald storms off, he encounters Dr. Cat. As he’s explaining his problem to the good doctor, he once again starts sneezing. He jumps to the conclusion that he must be allergic to both pigs and cats.
Fortunately, Dr. Cat is less likely to jump to conclusions. After he examines Gerald, he diagnosis the sneezy pachyderm with nothing more than a simple head cold. Gerald runs off to tell Piggie the good news. Because this is Mo Willems there’s a bit of a surprise at the end but I refuse to spoil it for you.
As always Willems’ simple line art is both expressive and hilarious. Gerald sneezes as only an elephant can (big and bold) creating many opportunities for humor.
But first and foremost this is a beginning reader. Your new reader will have to take some time puzzling through the text. Fortunately repeated words and simple phrasing, complimented by art work that illustrates while expanding on the story, make it possible.
That said, this book would also work well for story time (be ready for a snout full of fake sneezes) or reading one on one with your little one. I wouldn’t pick this for bed time reading because the sneezing is way too physical and much more likely to wind someone up than to calm them down.
As an adult, I appreciated the adult level humor. Admit it, we’ve all worked with someone who jumps to immediate, and generally incorrect, conclusions about why the sneezes, who gave them the sneezes and how to get rid of the sneezes.
Share this one with non-readers and new readers but be ready for plenty of additional sneeze-filled sound effects.