Picture Book - My Friend Is Sad (Elephant & Piggie) - Mo Willems (Author & Illustrator)
Recommended for - Toddlers/Younger Readers
If you've never read any of the Elephant & Piggie books by Mo Willems then apologies, but you're about to learn a lot about them, as they're going to form the bulk of the next 20 or so reviews for this site. For I have recently discovered them (thanks to a certain team of librarians - yes, librarians are awesome for learning about new books. Who knew?!), and the first time I read one of the stories I laughed, and laughed, and laughed, and laughed. I think at that point I had to go and serve someone in the library, but when I had finished I went back and laughed some more.
For those unfamiliar with the Elephant & Piggie series, they are books about best friends Gerald (the elephant) and Piggie (the pig - you guessed that already? Gold star!), and the funny adventures they get into. There's often a very funny little twist that will make grown ups smile knowingly, and this first story is no exception. This tale sees Gerald looking upset, and Piggie wondering about what can be wrong with his friend. Piggie tries his best to cheer him up by putting on disguises, but Gerald remains upset until Piggie comes to see him as himself, whereupon Gerald tells him that he was even more upset because he wanted to share the fun with Piggie, who wasn't there. It's a lovely little twist that will make grown ups smile and children laugh, and I warmed to Gerald and Piggie straight away because they're both slightly dopey.
These may be books for young children, but there's a genuine humour to them that reminds me of Jon Klassen and Oliver Jeffers. Oh, how I wish that my attempts at picture books could put me in their league. Mo Willems also does another series (as well as other books in general) based on a rather angry pigeon, and they're just as good, so look out for some of those reviews appearing soon too!
I really can't recommend highly enough that, if you have a child who's starting to appreciate humour in picture books, you should start getting the Elephant & Piggie books out straight away.