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Review of The Thank You Book

The Thank You Book [Elephant & Piggie]
by Mo Willems; illus. by the author
Preschool, Primary    Hyperion    57 pp.
5/16    978-1-4231-7828-6    $9.99

“I am one lucky pig,” thinks Piggie, sitting contentedly back-to-back with her best friend Gerald. True enough. Over the course of twenty-five easy readers she’s been the free spirit to Gerald’s pragmatist, the risk taker to the old reliable (if officious) pachyderm. In this final (according to Willems; sob!) series entry, Piggie feels compelled to thank everyone who has touched her life. (“Everyone?” says Gerald, incredulous to the end. “You will forget someone.”) This gives Willems — and readers — the welcome excuse to revisit favorite characters from previous adventures. We’ve got the squirrels, the snake, the lovebirds, the whale, Doctor Cat, Brian Bat, and many others, including that interloping pigeon; they all also appear on the front and back endpapers. You think you know where this is going, and it’s true that Piggie does forget to thank Gerald and Gerald does humorously blow his top. However, in another hallmark of the series, Willems provides an additional narrative twist, with an ending that is sweet, silly, ironic, metafictive, humorous, and heartfelt. In other words, it’s everything the Elephant & Piggie series has been all along.

From the September/October 2016 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Elissa Gershowitz About Elissa Gershowitz

Elissa Gershowitz is executive editor of The Horn Book, Inc. She is a current member of the Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee.

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