From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 1—Once again, Willems shows his talent for distilling the most profound human emotions to only a few words. Gerald the elephant is exhibiting anxiety, and his issue is the fact that Piggie says, “I am going!” For young children, this fear of abandonment can surface even when a friend or caretaker leaves for a brief time. It turns out that Piggie is just planning to go get lunch, and in his typical, reassuring way, Willems shows a picnic spread at the end with the two friends enjoying the meal together, Gerald’s worries having been assuaged. Fans of the series will recognize that every so often Gerald is the in-charge character and every so often it is Piggie; as in real life, different people show their vulnerabilities in different situations. Once again, Willems uses just two colors, showing pink Piggie marching on the front endpapers and gray Gerald hopping on the back. He uses text bubbles to indicate who is speaking and includes a number of white space. The illustrations are hilarious whilst at the same time capturing the truest of feelings. Make sure you add this easy reader to your collection as an addition to the series or whilst a stand-alone.—Gloria Koster, West School, New Canaan, CT
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The mercurial friendship of Elephant and Piggie survives another minor (but seemingly life-ending!) tiff. The two are basking in shared bliss when Piggie announces, “Well, I am going.” Elephant proceeds to get histrionic, clawing at his ears and wailing, “Who will I skip with? Who will I play Ping-Pong with? Who will I wear a silly hat with? WHO WILL I SKIP AND PLAY PING-PONG IN A SILLY HAT WITH?!?!” Though it falls short of the high-water marks of I Love My New Toy! (2008) and I Will Surprise My Friend! (2008), Willems again distills the abrupt melodrama summoned by the commonest of childhood disagreements. As at all times, the key is the offhandedness of the presentation—the pencil art, the simple font, and the generous white space create a mid-tempo visual rhythm that is one way or the other intrinsically funny. This austerity is broken when Elephant reaches the mad heights of his tantrum. For both adult and child readers, it’s a moment as pleasurably predictable as the making-up that quickly follows. Preschool-Grade 2. –Daniel Kraus
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Gerald is careful. Piggie is not. Piggie cannot help smiling. Gerald can.Gerald and Piggie are best friends.In I Am Going!, Piggie ruins a perfectly good day by telling Gerald she is going. If Piggie goes, who will Gerald skip with, play Ping-Pong with, and wear silly hats with?Willems’s Geisel Award?winning duo continues to delight readers with their silly shenanigans. Packed full of humor and heart, the Elephant & Piggie Books are vetted by an early-learning specialist and early learners themselves, so they are going to be right on course for new readers.