From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2—In a refreshing reversal of their usual roles, the frequently-despondent Gerald proves to be a valuable friend to exuberant Piggie when her own naturally sunny disposition fails her. Fretful about the sudden rain that threatens to ruin an afternoon of running, skipping, and jumping, Piggie declares emphatically that she is “not a happy pig.” Poor Gerald patiently weathers the rain and her brief tantrum and, as readers might expect, the pair soon profit from the situation. Alive with movement and feeling, the illustrations tell the story, setting the tone and adding depth to the simple text. The words themselves are manageable for young readers, and these endearing and distinctly developed characters have great child appeal. With a cameo appearance by the Pigeon on the final endpaper, this can be a winning addition to the writer’s canon.—Neala Arnold, St. Francis Elementary School, MN
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Gerald the elephant and his friend Piggie are outdoors and ready to play when a drop of rain falls “PLINK!” on Piggie’s head. Watching her high-spirited mood dive precipitously through annoyance toward despair, Gerald extends an ear to shelter her. Soon, though, two ecstatic worms cavorting in the rain inspire them to find happiness in wet-weather play. The characters quickly shifting moods provide a lot of laughs, in addition to food for thought, in this amiable entry in the Elephant and Piggie beginning-reader series. Willems again combines simplicity and wit to create a child-pleasing text that works beautifully with the cartoon-style illustrations. Preschool-Grade 2. –Carolyn Phelan
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Gerald is careful. Piggie isn’t.Piggie cannot help smiling. Gerald can.Gerald worries in order that Piggie does not have to.Gerald and Piggie are best friends.In Are You Ready to Play Out of doors?, Piggie can’t wait to go play in the sunshine. But will a rainy day ruin the entire fun?