Early Reader of the Day – My Friend is Sad

Certainly Mo Willems does not need anyone promoting his books for him. He’s won the Newbery Honor Award twice (first for Knuffle Bunny and second for its sequel KnuffleBunny Too) and his newest effort, a series of early readers has garnered critical and popular praise, winning him the Theordore Suess Geisel Award for early readers.

And yet his Elephant and Piggie series is just so wonderfully delicious that even with all of the free publicity that Mr. Willems has received via the awards, I just can’t help showering him with more. My Friend is Sad is my personal favorite of the series so far. Gerald the Elephant is sad. His friend Piggie attempts to cheer him up by dressing up as various characters, only to discover that Gerald is sad because he is missing her. The text is incredibly simple, as befits an early reader book. The illustrations are exquisite. Simple line drawings set against a blank background, the pictures are drawn with incredible skill in depicting body language. It would be entirely possible to follow the storyline based solely on the expressive illustrations. This is an important consideration when a reader who is very new to the skill is attempting to read a new text. When pictures support the text, it makes it much easier to create meaning from the words.

The entire series is highly recommended.

Other books by this author:

KnuffleBunny, Leonardo the Terrible Monster, Edwina the Dinosaur Who Didn’t Know She was Extinct.

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