From School Library Journal
Starred Review. Kindergarten-Grade 2—In classic Willems style, the characters’ expressions and body language carry both stories, with the deceptively simple line art saying far more than the slight, though whimsical, texts. When Gerald unintentionally breaks Piggie’s new toy, he is by turns ashamed, chagrined, and apologetic. Piggie is mad, sad, and after all embarrassed (a squirrel shows them that the “broken toy” is of the “break-and-snap” variety). The pals then come to a decision that playing together is more fun than playing with a toy anyway. In the second one title, the two watch a squirrel surprise a friend by jumping out from in the back of a rock. Mischievous Gerald and Piggie then plan together how to “surprise” one another in the same way. They sit down in the back of opposite sides of a big stone and wait to be surprised. And wait. And wait. And worry. Savvy readers will know exactly what happens when each friend thinks that the other has left. These masterful mini-dramas will delight and amuse easy-reader and picture-book audiences, alike.—Kelly Roth, Bartow County Public Library, Cartersville, GA
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*Starred Review* Squirrel plays a big role in Elephant and Piggie’s next adventure, I Will Surprise My Friend. He surprises his friend by hiding in the back of a tiny rock and yelling, “Boo!” The squirrels have such fun that Elephant and Piggie come to a decision to check out it too, but alas, surprising each other, when both know a surprise is coming, isn’t that easy. As all the time in this series, the combination of simple text and mischievous art will satisfy beginning readers and leave them eager to polish their skills and move toward more challenging books. Grades K-2. –Ilene Cooper
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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.In I Will Surprise My Friend!, Gerald and Piggie wish to play a game and surprise each other-but the biggest surprise is the one they least expect.