To Elephant and Piggie lovers everywhere: Please stand up and claim your love of all things Mo Willems! Let’s get loud and proud to share the good news and let others know how amazing his books really are!
If you really have never heard of Elephant and Piggie books consider this your awakening, especially if you have toddlers in your life. (You can thank you me later, I enjoy milk bordeaux chocolate bars from See’s.)
The first time my kids sat down to read with me and laughed out loud – like that hardcore belly laugh that every parent loves to hear – was reading an Elephant and Piggie book, specifically it was Can I Play Too?
This series follows 2 best friends, Elephant and Piggie, and in this particular book they are asked by a third friend if he can join their game of catch. This friend is a snake….who has no arms. It turns out that arms are essential to play catch. So Elephant and Piggie are not really sure how to handle this at first. Snake insists that he can play, so they try throwing balls at him, eventually A LOT of balls at him, until he gives up and gets frustrated in that charming Mo-Willem-esk way.
Snake wants to give up but Piggie won’t let him, saying “You are our friend! We will ALL play catch!” They eventually solve the problem by using Snake as the ball! Snake feels included and needed, Elephant & Piggie find how valuable he is to the game, and all 3 friends are happy!
3 Reasons Parents Love Elephant and Piggie Books
1. The messages are sweet and lead naturally to great conversations with kids. In the case of Can I Play Too? my kids and I talked about how awesome it is to include friends when we’re playing, especially friends who are different and might need an extra ‘hand’ to figure out how to play well together. Fostering that idea of being inclusive and seeing the best in others is a major win in my book. All of the stories have sweet messages that can benefit any child’s growth.
2. The stories are simple and get every kid laughing. My kids have laughed themselves silly reading all 25 of Elephant and Piggie stories again and again. What better way to encourage a love of reading than to help your kids laugh!
3. Elephant and Piggie books help toddlers learn to read! Mo Willems’ style lends itself to easy reading for toddlers. There are no contractions, the print is nice and big, and there are only a few words/phrases per page. All 3 of my boys became very good readers early on and I have no doubt that reading a lot of Elephant and Piggie books helped with that. They could read these books on their own without mom and dad’s help, and that was exciting for them!
Mo Willems really is a master at crafting engaging stories for children. If you enjoy Elephant and Piggie books, you’ll also want to read books about his other characters, like Pigeon, Duckling, Knuffle Bunny, Wilber the Naked Mole Rat, Edwina, and more! These award-winning books are fabulous and I’m so glad they’re a part of my kids’ library. They make me laugh along with my kids and as a result I look forward to reading all snuggled up with my boys before bedtime.