Tag Archives: Elephant and Piggie

www Wednesdays – June 29, 2011

WWW Wednesdays

Today is my birthday (if you’re curious to know how old I am, I suggest you read last year’s post on Turning 40 and do the quick math) and I’m planning to bake my own birthday cake as part of my 101 in 1001 challenge, so I’ll make this post quick. Sorry but a chocolate cake should always take priority!

The Remains of the Day by Kasuo Ishiguro

The Remains of the Day by Kasuo Ishiguro

My bookshelf

– What I’m currently reading
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro (a Japanese British writer). I’ve never seen the movie inspired by this book and I’m struggling with main character’s spoken style and tone (the book uses the first-person narrative). But I know it’s meant to be that way. A “perfect” English butler, oblivious to the life going on around him, emotionless, uptight, borderline asocial. I keep wondering, how does someone grow up to become this type of person? Will he ever turn around and see the light, smell the roses? And that’s why I keep reading the book, because I’m a hopeful person.

– What I recently finished reading
Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson. This is the diary of a mother for her new baby, with a tragic twist, intertwined with another story about a woman and her lover. I hate to admit the story is predictible, but you can’t help but feel the same joy and pain as the characters as they go through life. As a mother, I found some parts quite heartbreaking, making me think of what I really want my children to remember from me, and making sure I tell my kids every night that I love them.

Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata (a Japanese American writer). I’m so glad I stumbled upon this book at the library – this is a great story! In the early 1950s, a Japanese family is forced to move from Iowa to the Deep South of Georgia, with only 32 Japanese out of 4000 residents – the ultimate minority. Younger sister Katie narrates this story about her mother, father and older sister Lynn. Unfortunately Lynn gets sick and the whole family is hurt emotionally, physically and financially. Even though this book is considered “youth literature”, I recommend it to anyone looking to read a lovely, touching story about growing up.

– What I think I’ll read next
Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life’s Greatest Lesson by Mitch Albom. I feel everybody else in the world has read this book except me, so it’s now waiting for me on my bookshelf.

My kids’ bookshelf

Can I play, too? by Mo Willems - Elephant and Piggie series

Can I play, too? by Mo Willems - Elephant and Piggie series

– What they’re currently reading
Lots and lots of Mo Willems!!! We’re big fans of Mo Willems and got the opportunity to see him in person almost a year ago. We haven’t read Mo for a while so I got a whole bunch of his books at the library, since they are so entertaining, often hilarious and great for early readers. Our favorites of the Elephant & Piggie book series are:
I Will Surprise My Friend (this has to be one of the funniest children’s books ever!)
Can I Play, Too? (this one is a close second – BOINK!)
There Is a Bird on Your Head
I Am Invited to a Party!

– What they recently finished reading
Mr Putter & Tabby Spill the Beans, Mr Putter & Tabby Spin the Yarn, and Mr Putter & Tabby See the Stars, by Cynthia Rylant. Wonderful, funny, touching books both preschoolers and their parents will enjoy reading. And if you’ve ever wondered how many bean recipes you can come up with, Mr Putter & Tabby Spill the Beans has the answer for you.

– What I think they’ll read next
I’ve got lots of books requested at the library but they don’t seem to be moving very fast, so I’m not sure which books I’ll replenish our stock with yet.

What about you? Any books you or your kids are reading you’d like to share? Feel free to share below. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a birthday cake to bake.

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Mo Willems – Can I play too?

We’re big fans of Mo Willems at our house, kids and parents alike. The Knuffle Bunny series (see my previous review on Knuffle Bunny) is one of our bedtime favorites and we always enjoy reading the new adventures of Elephant and Piggie.

Can I play too? by Mo Willems

Can I play too? by Mo Willems

In the 2010 release of “Can I play too?“, Mo Willems revisits the frienship theme between Elephant and Piggie by having the two best friends play ball together. Suddenly, a snake appears and asks if he can play ball with them. What follows is a series of attempts to figure out how to play ball with an armless catcher. If the poor snake can’t catch one ball, maybe MORE BALLS will help??? My words can’t do justice to the hilarious dialogue and facial expressions assigned to the various characters throughout the book. Both children and parents will get a great laugh and want to read the story over and over until their stomach muscles ache. Hey, wait a minute! Does that count as a workout? I think it does after three repetitions! Oh, and you’ll get a kick out of Mo Willems’ updating of the “lightbulb over the head” concept with the new energy-efficient version. It’s about time we saved electricity in children’s books!

If you enjoy this book, buy or borrow others from your favorite library. The Elephant and Piggie book series is great for kids from 2 to 6. Early readers age 4 and above can start reading the large-print text on their own. In my opinion, Mo Willems’ full mastery of the art of humor is reflected in his choice of words and illustrations, making is a highly enjoyable experience for readers of all ages. Parents won’t say no when their kids ask them to read those books again and again!

Here are our favorite in the Elephant & Piggie series in order of increasing giggle intensity:
Are you ready to play outside? – how you can have fun outside, rain or shine
Watch me throw the ball – that’s before Elephant & Piggie shared their ball with a snake
I love my new toy – a story with an interesting twist… or should I say break?
I will surprise my friend – my personal favorite, and it does include quite a surprise

Knuffle Bunny Free by Mo Willems

Knuffle Bunny Free by Mo Willems

Talking about Mo Willems, the clock is ticking louder and louder as we’re impatiently getting close to the release of the latest Knuffle bunny story with “Knuffle Bunny Free – an unexpected diversion” on September 28, 2010. I think I’ll be scheduling a trip with my boys to our local bookstore next week to read the latest and last of the series. I hear this may be a tear jerker, so I’d better bring some tissues, at least for myself. It’s hard to think that some children’s books make me want to cry. Gee, it’s tough being a mom…

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