Saturday, October 12, 2013

Elephant & Piggie: Great books for wiggly readers

When I go to the library with the kids, I typically let them play computer games while I rush around grabbing picture and chapter books that I think might interest them. I'm always happy to get some Mo Willems books because his humor appeals to kids and adults.
Though it's probably too early to tell, I think Rocky is our kinesthetic learner. He usually can't sit still when I read to him. Unlike his big bro Steve, for whom books have always been captivating, Rocky rarely makes it through an entire book without forcing its premature conclusion by slamming the cover shut and declaring, "The End!!"
As you can see from the serene photo above, the Elephant and Piggie series of beginner's readers has been a big hit with Stephen (5) and Rockam (2). It probably helps that I read them with a high-pitched cutesy voice for Piggie and a low, snobbish voice for Gerald the elephant-- but even without special theatrics, these books read like a really catchy tune. After reading the repetitive conversation in "Let's Go For a Drive" to Stephen only one time, he was able to "read" it back to Rockam almost verbatim. And the familiar refrain "Drive! Drive! Drivey-Drive Drive!" is something that Rocky still occasionally shouts out for no particular reason when he's in a good mood.
Another reason to love these books: Mo Willems' illustrations have that muppety quality and melodramatic expressions that make Rockam giggle, even after we've read the book three times in a row. These books are great fun for the bookworm and the reluctant reader alike.

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