- TITLE: Happy Pig Day! an Elephant & Piggie Book
- WRITTEN + ILLUSTRATED BY: Mo Willems
- PAGES: 57
- ISBN: 9781423143420
- Available on Amazon, here.
The “Elephant & Piggie” books by Mo Willems have jumped out at me as of late for their colorful covers & quirky illustrations. This one in particular made me smile when pulling it off the shelf because of the fun confetti cover. This book has a lot of pages but with just a few words per page, making it a quick page turner for AJ and capturing her 15 month old attention.
Super Speedy Summary
Like many other books from this collection, this story follows two characters, Piggie (the pig) and Gerald (the elephant). Piggie is so excited because today is HAPPY PIG DAY. He excitedly tells Gerald all about Pig Day and what is means, what they eat and what they do on this special day. Unfortunately, Gerald starts to feel left out when Piggie introduces him to all of his pig friends who’ve arrived for Pig Day. He is an elephant, not a pig. Noticing his friend’s sadness, Piggie asks Gerald what is wrong – to which he responds “I do not belong”. Realizing he unintentionally made his friend sad, Piggie reveals that all of his “pig friends” are really just other animals in pig costumes! Happy Pig Day is for everyone who loves pigs! After that, Gerald is excited and happy about the special day and starts his own dance to celebrate.
Surprisingly enough, though this book is relatively upbeat and happy, the moment where Gerald felt left out gave me all the sad feelings! I think the reason for such a strong emotional reaction on my part was due to the perfect execution by the author. The book reads so quickly and excitedly, in a huge text up until the part when Gerald starts getting sad. Then, there are several pages without text until finally, Piggie asks Gerald what is the matter in the tiniest, whisper-iest text yet. It truly encapsulated that “small” emotion when you feel like you don’t belong.
This turning point in the book truly is applicable to both children and adults alike.
Think back to when you were a child. Was there ever a time you felt like you were the odd man out? Maybe you didn’t have some new gadget all your friends did, or they all lived on the same street, or maybe they were all in the same sport together but you weren’t. It is probably a feeling you remember to this day.
Now, think to your adult life. Has their been a recent time that these feelings have been present? Maybe you just moved somewhere new and you’re trying to make friends (which can we admit is really freaking hard when you’re an adult?). Maybe all your friends are having children and you’re just not ready yet – and you feel like you’re losing that connection.
Regardless of the situation, just like this book, there is a beacon of light that can come in and rescue you from this dark time. This time of emptiness, of feeling alone.
Admit to feeling sadness.
Open yourself up to friendship.
Once you admit that you’re feeling sad or lonely to someone, often times they make sure to get you out of that hole. Feeling that way typically cannot be solved by more solitude. It’s about opening yourself up to that love and acceptance.
Maybe this is reading too much into this book, or maybe it’s exactly what the author intended. Regardless, this book is a fantastic lesson on the value of true friendship and is an uplifting story about the realities of loneliness and self doubt.
I think we are officially raving fans of the “Elephant & Piggie” book series (we’ll be doing a review of another one, soon) as we are giving this book a perfect 5 star review. It’s a great bedtime or quiet time read and it is filled with all sorts of amazing lessons and hidden truths.
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