Review

HAPPY PIG DAY! Creator/Illustrator: Willems, Mo The latest entry in this popular series for beginning readers features a new holiday: It’s Happy Pig Day, and Gerald the elephant is feeling left out. The elements that have made this series so successful and enduring are all present once again: a clean design (white background, lack of extraneous details, large type in word bubbles, etc.), a friendship theme and a satisfying resolution. This time around, Piggie announces the upcoming festivities, and at first Gerald’s excited: “Ooooh! I did not know about Happy Pig Day.” But the day soon sours for him, as three pig friends appear to be monopolizing his best friend’s attention. It’s not until Piggie reveals the truth about these pigs and Happy Pig Day that peace is restored. “Happy Pig Day is for . . . Anyone,” begins Piggie, and a squirrel, cat and bear whip off their pig-costume heads, shouting “Who!” “Loves!” “Pigs!” respectively. Ostensibly about celebrating porcine pride, this explores coping with feelings a child may have upon learning a best friend may in fact have other friends. Several Elephant & Piggie books have received Geisel Awards or Honors, for books for beginning readers; this one will not only encourage kids to give reading a go but will also teach them at least a couple of words in a new language: ” ‘Oinky! Oink! Oink!’ ‘means Happy Pig Day in Pig.’ ” (Early reader. 4-8) Kirkus”

WILLEMS, Mo. Happy Pig Day! illus. by Creator. 60p. (An Elephant & Piggie Book). Hyperion. 2011. Tr $8.99. ISBN 978-1-4231-4342-0. LC 2010034326. PreS-Gr 3 Beginning readers will delight in this funny tale. Gerald and Piggie are celebrating “The day of the pig” with pig songs, pig dances, pig food, pig games, and friends wishing one another “oinky, oink oink,” which is “pig for Happy Pig Day!” Gerald the elephant seems genuinely interested in this celebration until Piggie’s friends start speaking “pig” and he feels left out. The animated characters convey emotion and humor; masterful use of white space and comic-style text bubbles will inspire repeated readings. Another hit for Willems. Melissa Smith, Royal Oak Public Library, MI SLJ”

Happy Pig Day!. Willems, Mo (Creator), Willems, Mo (Illustrator) Hooray, it’s Happy Pig Day! Of course, Gerald the elephant has no clue what this means, so Piggie launches into the holiday’s myriad glories. The parties! The dances! The pig foods! The pig games! Everyone crying “Oinky! Oink! Oink!” (That’s “Happy Pig Day” in Pig.) But whilst Piggie cavorts with other pigs, Gerald slinks away, feeling, as many kids now and again do, the exclusion of not being involved in a particular holiday. Here Willems displays his cunning use of white space: the two friends are so far apart on the page. The good news? Happy Pig Day is for those who love pigs, too. – Daniel Kraus Booklist”

It’s “the best day of the year”-Happy Pig Day! Piggie goes hog-wild with her porcine friends, but Gerald feels left out and shrinks away. After Piggie finds her friend, Gerald works himself into an existential meltdown: “I do not have a snout. I do not have hooves! It’s not that i am pink! I need to say, Happy Pig Day’ in Pig! But It’s not that i am a pig.” As all the time, Willems’s delightfully mismatched best friends communicate with bold declarations and gestural expressions that convey a vast range of recognizable emotions-from the agony of feeling left out to unbridled joy at celebrating all things pig. PW”

About the Author

Mo Willems (www.pigeonpresents.com), a number one New York Times best-selling Creator and illustrator, has been awarded a Caldecott Honor on three occasions (for Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale, and Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Unsuitable Identity). Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! was also an inaugural inductee into the Indies Choice Picture Book Hall of Fame. Other favorites include Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed and City Dog, Country Frog, illustrated by Jon J Muth.

Mo began his career on Sesame Street, where he garnered six Emmy Awards. He lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Gerald is careful. Piggie is not.Piggie cannot help smiling. Gerald can.Gerald worries so that Piggie does not have to.Gerald and Piggie are best friends.
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