Book: I Will Take a Nap! (Elephant & Piggie)
Author: Mo Willems
Age Range: 5-8
We are huge Mo Willems fans in my household, reading everything from the Knuffle Bunny books to the Pigeon books to Willems' standalone titles. Willems was, in fact, the first author that my daughter could name. As in, "let's read a book by Mo Willems now". She loves, loves, loves the way that Willems gives his series characters cameos in other books.
The Elephant & Piggie books are a fabulous and multiple Cybils Award-winning series of early readers. Although they are meant for new readers to read themselves, my daughter and I frequently read them together. These days she'll have me do most of the reading, but will chime in herself with the occasional word. The books are so fun that this is not at all boring for me as an adult reader (unlike some early reader series).
The latest Elephant & Piggie book is I Will Take a Nap!. In this installment, Gerald the Elephant decides to take a nap (with his stuffed animal, a Knuffle Bunny). He lies down, all comfortable and sleepy. And the next thing you know, there's his friend Piggie, interrupting him. Gerald's cranky response makes Piggie cranky, too, and she also decides to take a nap. But it turns out that someone snores, making napping together very difficult. Then, a surreal twist arises, which led us to go back to see the twist telegraphed from the beginning. The twist makes this a particularly enjoyable installment to the series.
As in the other Elephant & PIggie books, much of the fun lies in the way Willems conveys the characters' emotions through both their expressions and postures and through fonts. When Piggie is interrupting, Gerald proclaims: "I am NOT napping!". His eyes are red. His forehead is wrinkled. His body is twisting in agitation. And his words are shown in large letters. Kids get Elephant and Piggie. And they love them. As do I.
I Will Take a Nap! has some cute details, like Piggie's security stuffed animal being in the form of an elephant (to Gerald's blushes), and the turnip-headed Elephant and Piggie (and Pigeon) on the end pages. The crankiness that telegraphs the need to nap and that escalates when a nap is interrupted are universally relatable. I Will Take a Nap! is a must-purchase title for libraries, and a fine addition to anyone's home collection of early readers. Highly recommended! And now, I'm off to take a nap.
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (@DisneyHyperion)
Publication Date: June 2, 2015
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher
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