Sunday, June 5, 2016

Book Review: The Thank You Book by Mo Willems

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: A good way to say goodbye to beloved friends
Cons: If read outside the final book in series context, isn’t as special
The Bottom Line:
Heartwarming goodbye
From favorite characters
And from their author

A Huge Thank You

It was only when I started reading thoughts on The Thank You Book that I learned the sad truth – this is Mo Willems final Elephant and Piggie book.  And I get it.  He’s done 25 books starring this duo, and he’s ready to move on to other things.  But the thought of no more books in this series makes me sad.  Fortunately, this is a wonderful series finale.

For those who have missed these delightful picture books, they are about best friends Gerald (the elephant) and Piggie.  The two are very different, but they complement each other well.  The books are filled with Mo’s simple illustrations and dialogue that is perfect for beginning readers.  In fact, the story is only told via dialogue, which makes them stand out.

As this book opens, Piggie is thinking about how lucky she is to have so many wonderful people in her life.  So she sets out to thank each person who has enriched her life.  While Gerald likes the idea of thankfulness, he worries that she will forget to thank someone.  Is he right?

Before I picked up this book, I thought I knew who Gerald was worried about Piggie forgetting, but I was wrong.  Yep, we get one more twists.  Along the way, there are some smiles as Piggie thanks every character we’ve seen in the series, and one we haven’t.  (Pigeon eyed friends will love those pages.)  As always, the illustrations are fun and the words are simple enough that the beginning reader shouldn’t have a problem.

Plus, who doesn’t love the idea of thanking people who mean something to you.  Piggie does this unprompted.  If it gets kids to think about how people in their lives enrich them, that’s a wonderful thing.

However, if you read this as just another Elephant and Piggie book, it will fall a little flat.  While fun for fans, it isn’t quite as creative or funny as other volumes in the series.

Earlier in the review, I used the term series finale.  And that’s the best way to think of this book.  It’s not another new adventure, but it’s a great way to say goodbye to loyal fans.  Really, this book is a tip of the hat from Mo to us, he just uses Gerald and Piggie to do it.  If you read it that way, you will absolutely love it.

So if you haven’t met Gerald and Piggie, don’t start with this book.  But if you are a longtime fan, pick up The Thank You Book with the proper mindset, and you’ll find yourself smiling as you say goodbye to this wonderful dynamic duo.

And thank you, Gerald and Piggie, for the laughs and entertaining lessons over the years.


  1. Sounds like you really love the series. That is enough to prompt me to remember it if I am buying children's books. :-)

    1. I do. These books are so funny and creative.