Thursday, November 13, 2014

Book Review: Waiting is Not Easy! by Mo Willems (Elephant and Piggie)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Funny look at why waiting is good
Cons: Could have shown distractions while waiting
The Bottom Line:
Gerald learns to wait
Will the surprise be worth it?
Fun lesson for us

I Cannot Wait to Tell You How Much I Enjoyed This Book

Usually, I discover that a new Elephant and Piggie book has been released a few weeks after the fact, but I happened to catch an announcement for the release of Waiting Is Not Easy! a couple of months back, and I couldn’t wait to read it.  (Some irony is involved there, I think.)  Fortunately, the wait was worth it.

It’s another nice day when Piggie tells Gerald she has a surprise for her friend.  The only clues she gives is that it is big, it is beautiful, and they can enjoy it together.  Oh, and it’s not ready yet.  And so Gerald spends the rest of the day being very impatient waiting until he can enjoy the surprise.  As the day goes on, he gets more impatient to learn what it is.  Will the wait be worth it?  What is the surprise?

Some entries in this series have obvious lessons, while some are just for fun.  This is a book with a pretty clear lesson about patience being rewarded.  (And it was released right before Christmas.  Coincidence?)  Yet, as always, the lesson comes through with plenty of warmth and humor.  There is never a lecture, and kids and parents will be entertained as they read.

The book continues the tradition of a story told solely through pictures and dialogue between the two friends.  And yet we follow everything perfectly and get plenty of laughs.  The cartoon style of the pictures certainly helps with that, and it provides us with great sight gags.  The dialogue is pretty funny as well as Gerald gets more impatient and Piggie keeps reassuring him the payoff is worth it.

The payoff is certainly worth it for us, and the last line gives us another great laugh.  Plus the illustrations on the last few pages are some of the best we’ve seen in the series.

I do have one complaint, and it’s a small one.  Instead of constantly whining about how slowly time is moving, it would have been nice if Gerald and Piggie tried to do something to make the time go faster while they waited.  I realize it’s not quite as funny, but it would have shown that there are creative ways to cope when you have to wait.

Complaint aside, fans who have been waiting for more adventures with Gerald and Piggie will be rewarded with Waiting Is Not Easy!  Now comes the wait for their next book.


  1. We are Gerald and Piggie fans here as well and I'll have to look for this new one. I don't disagree about it being nice if they had actually tried to make things go faster instead of just whining but maybe that can be a teaching lesson? Thanks for letting me know there's a new one!

    1. Since ultimately the book does show that waiting is worth it, I'm okay with the lack of the other message. Besides, it a fun book. As I said, it's a minor issue - worth noting, but not really that big a deal.