Friday, July 5, 2013

Book Review: I Will Surprise My Friend! by Mo Willems

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Delightfully silly story that will make you laugh no matter your age
Cons: Not a one
The Bottom Line
More guaranteed laughs
As Gerald and Piggie plan
Surprising surprise

Delightfully Funny Surprise

The Elephant and Piggie books from Mo Willems are a pure delight for all ages.  I've enjoyed all the ones I've read.  However, I think I may have found a favorite, or at least a new favorite until I read the next one.  I Will Surprise My Friend! is so funny and charming it's a sure winner.

For those unfamiliar with these picture books, they star two friends, Gerald the Elephant and Piggie the Pig.  They are best friends even though they have very different personalities.  And this book really shows off those differences for best comic effect.

After watching two squirrels surprise each other and laugh about it, Gerald gets the idea that he and Piggie should surprise each other.  After all, it looks like such fun.  However, they didn't plan it out completely, and both are hiding behind the rock waiting for the other.  Will the surprise work?

As the two are hiding behind the rock, Gerald starts to worry that something horrid has happened to Piggie.  Each page is funnier than the last, ending with a giant monster eating her.  Piggie, meanwhile, thinks that Gerald must have gone in for lunch.  The differences between the two and the parallel in the story telling is so funny.

The pictures also are a riot.  The looks on their faces as they are sneaking up on the rock are so funny as they have these devious looks on their faces.  And the drawings also make the climax literally laugh out loud funny.

Actually, this book has more to the pictures than normal.  Instead of just Gerald and Piggie, we get the rock and what Gerald is imaging as he sits and waits to surprise his friend.  Still, the pictures are just complex enough to tell the story while still being very simple.

The words used as also very simple.  As always, the story is just told via word bubbles, although we get thought bubbles as well.  Any young reader should be able to read this one with ease.

Some of the books in this series include a simple moral along the way.  That's not the case here.  We just get a funny story that will entertain us.

You and your child will be laughing by the time you finish I Will Surprise My Friend!  The pictures and words work together perfectly for the one of the funniest entries in this wonderful series.

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