Lynn and Cindy: If you were sad that the Elephant and Piggie series ended, cheer up! Although they will no longer star in their own stories, Elephant and Piggie will appear in a brand new, branded series, “Elephant and Piggie Like Reading.” Gerald and Piggie turn up to introduce these books, then come back to make concluding remarks. Check out the first two:
Lynn: It’s cookie time in Dan Santat’s The Cookie Fiasco (2016), which features four colorful friends, but only three cookies. Uh oh! Crocodile is the first to realize the awful truth. What to do?
Hilarity follows as the four mathematically challenged friends try to figure out how to share the cookies equally amidst crippling adversity: The purple hippo who breaks things when he’s nervous is quickly turning the cookies into crumbs. Will they hasten a cookie fiasco? The story, perfect for young readers, is told in color-coded speech bubbles and bright illustrations that will help beginning readers and make them laugh, as well. Like Gerald, I was ready for milk and cookies at the end.
Cindy: If you think watching the grass grow is boring, think again. The bug-eyed grass blades of Laurie Keller’s We are Growing! (2016) impart humor and drama where there was none before.
Although the blades start out at the same height, one has a growth spurt. The others are amazed and a kerfuffle ensues, but his boasting soon gets old, especially as his peers begin to grow taller. In short order, everyone is growing and bragging about their unique attributes. Alas, one stunted blade is left out of all the boasting—until someone mows the lawn.
We Are Growing is the perfect story to cheer up a kid who hasn’t lost his first tooth or reached another, similar milestone. Elephant and Piggie come up with their own reason to brag in the book’s closing pages, one that might spur children to find a way to grow as readers.