*Starred Review* Graphic novel influences have reached into most areas of children’s book publishing; here, they crop up in a classic genre-the friendship–duo easy reader-and chalk up yet another success for two-time Caldecott Honor winner Willems. The basic approach is familiar from Willems’ previous books, especially Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (2003). It’s as if each page were one frame of a comic strip, characters zip out and in of white space, proffer speech-bubble remarks, and express emotion through spot-on body language. Today I Will Fly juxtaposes Piggie’s optimistic ambitions with stodgier Elephant’s naysaying. There are also various quirky details to reward repeated readings, including the charmingly incongruous mystery of Piggie’s real name (Elephant’s, we learn, is Gerald). Accessible, appealing, and full of authentic emotions about what makes friendships tick, this will put a up to date shine on easy reader collections. Vying for their affections is that irrepressible pigeon, who, still utterly in character, finds his way onto the endpapers. Jennifer Mattson
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About the Author
Mo Willems is a six-time Emmy Award?winning author and animator for Sesame Street and the writer of Cartoon Network’s Sheep in the Big City. He’s the writer of groundbreaking picture books, including; Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale (Caldecott Honor winner 2004); Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (Caldecott Honor winner 2003); Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay up Late!; The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog!; Time to Say “Please”!; Leonardo, the Terrible Monster; and Edwina, the Dinosaur Who Didn’t Know She Was once Extinct. Mo lives with his family in Brooklyn, New York.
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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.