Elephant and Piggie

img_7573It feels a bit like cheating to have two children’s books from the same author in short succession. But this is my blog, and I make the rules, so I am going to do it anyway.

Piggie is a free spirit. She has an imagination and likes an adventure. Elephant Gerald is more practical, and a bit more cautious. He doesn’t see the world in quite the way that Piggie does, but they are still best friends.

These books are super fun, and great for beginning readers. They are set up in a comic book like style, relying on pictures and speech bubbles to tell the story. There are many Elephant and Piggie books, and I have not come close to reading them all. However, I enjoyed all those that I have come across. Many of them have a theme of friendship or lesson to learn, but there are also some that are simply fun. In some, the characters speak not just to each other, but also directly to the reader.

The book pictured, Today I Will Fly, was the first of these published. Piggie has decided that she is going to fly. Gerald, of course, knows that pigs cannot fly. Ridiculous! So Piggie knows she is going to need some help. I read this book to a classroom for First and Second Grade students this spring as part of our Reading Month celebration. The kids went wild for it.

Boris’s thoughts: “At least this one did not come with that creepy mascot thing. 4 paws.”

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus

img_6152Oh, the Pigeon. I totally understand why people do not like the Pigeon. He is loud. He is obnoxious. He is persistent. He is whiny. He is annoying. But oh, I must admit, I kind of love the Pigeon. This one is not actually my favorite of the Pigeon books, but I thought it would be the most appropriate for a review, as it is the original. As usual though, most of what I have to say about this can be applied to the other books in the series as well. (I think my favorite is probably¬†The Pigeon Needs a Bath, or perhaps,¬†Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late.)

I love the set up of this book. It’s somewhere between a picture book and a comic book. The story is shown through pictures and dialogue. What I find most interesting is that the dialogue is one sided– the Pigeon is talking directly to the reader. Imploring, begging, the reader to just, please, LET ME DRIVE THE BUS! I think this gives the (adult) reader options. This could be read as a monologue, or an interactive read aloud with children. Sure, there is not much variation in the children’s response to the Pigeon, but I think this makes it great for younger kids. (And certainly allows for the possibility of some fun!) This could also be a great choice for early readers, or for older children to read with younger. The illustrations are very simple, but are still able to portray the action of the pigeon in his plight to drive the bus.

You may notice that Boris is not alone in his picture with this book. A friend of mine told me that the Pigeon reminds me of her. At first I wondered if I should be offended, but she assured me, that it’s not that I am actually like him, but that he seems like “my kind of character.” Well, I suppose I do have to agree with that. For my birthday a few years ago, she gifted me a Pigeon. But not just a Pigeon, a TALKING Pigeon.

In the true spirit of the whiny, obnoxious, persistent Pigeon, he is only able to say one thing: LET ME DRIVE THE BUS. He generally hangs out in my office at work, where he is a big hit. A warning to parents though: he’s awfully cute, but you definitely don’t want your child walking around with a noise making toy that can only say one thing. Boris was not a huge fan. Our little photo shoot was a bit of a struggle, and I’m still not sure if he was annoyed or afraid of the Pigeon.

Boris’s thoughts: “If you put that thing near me again, I will destroy it……..which might be fun. 3 paws.”