When I was asked to partner with Disney-Hyperion to help promote Mo Willems’ work I didn’t have to think twice. You are probably familiar with The Pigeon series, but please tell me you are familiar with Elephant & Piggie books, no maybe it’s best if you aren’t because then you get to discover the series for the first time. Either way, I have some hard news. This series is coming to an end. But the good news is that the final book, The Thank You Book is a gem. If you love this series as much as I do (and boy do I love it!) you may get a little teary reading the final book. I haven’t gotten choked up since the last Harry Potter. But I admit I had a hard time reading the final few pages.
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Why are Elephant & Piggie Books So Good?
Here’s the thing, yes Mo Willems is hilarious and yes he has a magical way of breaking through that fourth wall and addressing the reader as part of the story, but the magic is in how simple the books are. New readers can succeed reading these books, but they don’t feel like they are reading a “baby” book because each book in this series is engaging, and unique, and connects to young readers with humor and feelings that they recognize immediately. The speech bubbles used for the dialog help break down the stories into predictable language for new readers. The humor is just the hook and I can say I have never read an Elephant & Piggie without laughing out loud.
The Thank You Book
The Thank You Book is clearly a goodbye to the characters that we have all been introduced to in this amazing series, but it is crafted in a way that if a child who has never read a single Elephant & Piggie book picks it up, they will still laugh and enjoy it cover to cover. It is a great way to talk to children about saying thank you in everyday life as well as how to react when someone says thank you to them. As with most of the books in the series, Gerald and, Piggie has some small conflict, but it always gets resolved because they are friends, and they care about each other. In this case, it’s all about Piggie forgetting to thank someone! As always the author draws readers in as part of the story.
The Thank You Book was released May 3rd, and there are AWESOME #ThankORama goodies for everyone to enjoy at ThankORama.com. My kiddos wearing their Elephant & Piggie tee-shirts ( I am giving some away below) and I decided to thank Elephant & Piggie and Mo Willems with this super fun printable speech bubbles. Print some out and then share them with the hashtag #ThankORama – I can’t wait to see who you thank!
Here check out Mo Willems tell us more about #ThankORama in this little video. You can see why his books are so funny!
I know you have waited for me to count down my favorite Elephant & Piggie Books so here goes:
10. A Big Guy Took My Ball Sounds like a book about bullying but it’s more about not judging people too quickly!
9. Should I Share My Ice Cream Friendship is not always easy but books like this one help kids think about situations before they are in them.
8. Can I Play Too? Social skills are much easier to learn when the lesson is wrapped up in a funny book!
7. Are You Ready To Play Outside? This book gets a lot of laughs at my house, I mean A LOT!
6. Let’s Go For A Drive I think I have read this book 300 times, it was my daughter’s favorite forever!
5. The Thank You Book I have a feeling this one will move up in the ranks. But right now my refusal to believe this is the last book in the series has bumped it to 5th.
4. Waiting Is Not Easy When a funny book can help kids connect with life skills. That is a win for everyone
3. There Is A Bird On Your Head The absurdity of the book is what makes it so great!
2. I Will Take A Nap The dream sequence in this book is brilliant!
1. We Are In A Book No other book I know of does as great a job at engaging readers as this one. It is honestly perfection. It’s also hilarious. I give this book as gifts all the time because it’s a no-fail gift!
Prize Pack Sweepstakes!
What is your favorite Elephant and Piggie book? Or if you are just discovering the series which book do you think your child or students would love to read with you? Tell us and you can be entered in our sweepstakes for:
The prize pack will include:
*Copy of The Thank You Book
*Elephant & Piggie event kit & standee
*2 Elephant & Piggie t-shirts
Open to US addresses only. Prizing provided by Disney-Hyperion.Official Rules This sweepstakes are open to American residents 18 years or older. To be eligible for the sweepstakes you must leave a comment on this post answering which Elephant and Piggie book is your favorite or which can you not wait to read. One winning commenter will be drawn at random, using Random.org, after the sweepstakes close on Sunday, May 15th at 8:00 pm PST. The winners will receive the prize pack listed, valued at approximately $35. After the winner is notified he or she has 72 hours to respond with their mailing address or another winner will be chosen at random. No purchase necessary.The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Any information gathered through the sweepstakes including email and postal addresses will not be used in anyway other than contacting winners and shipment of winnings. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. For more fun book options, make sure to follow me on Facebook! For more quick tips on helping your child learn to read check out my book; Raising A Rock-Star Reader. It is packed with fun ideas for families, book lists, and advice for parents.
EB Wolfe says
My favorite is We Are in a Book! So fun every time!
Sarah Robinson says
We love There is a Bird on Your Head. Our librarian introduced it in story time and I have been a fan of elephant and Piggie ever since.
Lori Bradshaw says
I love I Will Take A Nap! Close second Watch Me Thow The Ball.
Sara R. says
There is a Bird on Your Head is our favorite. We quote it and act it out with toys all the time. “There’s a baby doll… on my head?!” Instant giggles and smiles.
Jessica G says
We Are in a Book is my favorite too! My son loves the Trumpet one but I think that one is really hard to read aloud!
Megan N says
Our favorite is There is a Bird on Your Head! Close second We Are in a Book.
Lori Bradshaw says
Mine is I Really Like Slop!
As a librarian, my favorite is Should I Share My Ice Cream?, simply for the fact that it makes a great read-aloud. As a parent, I’d choose them all! I’m convinced that exposure to Elephant & Piggie gave my child the confidence to read on her own; nothing is more exciting than running down the hall to find your child yelling in her room, only to find out she’s simply reading very expressively. And I’d say her favorites waffle between I Will Take a Nap (so trippy) and We Are in a Book.
We love Waiting is Easy! In the last year or so my daughter jumped in to read a part and make it more of a performance as her confidence grew. So fun!
My kiddos and I think ‘We are in a Book’ is our favorite. Although all the Gerald and Piggie books are my favorite, as its one of the few books that I don’t mind reading over and over and over. 🙂
My kids and I love There is a Bird on Your Head. We are looking forward to reading The Thank You book.
I’m a kindergarten teacher and we have so many favorite Elephant and Piggie books! They’re so fun to read! My favorite is probably Are You Ready to Play Outside? Such a good one for Kindergarten!
Kate McFerrin says
We *love* Gerald and Piggy at our house. My favorite is “Waiting is not Easy”
My son LOVES Elephant and Piggie books. He was so excited when he was able to read them himself. One of our favorites is We Are In A Book! gets us giggling all the time.
Cynthia Masson says
There is a Bird on my Head always belly laughs with our kids.
We can’t wait to read the I Really Like Slop!
Jackie Ludwig says
We love Piggie and Elephant, my kids have loved them for a while and can now read on their own (age 5) They love A Big guy took my ball. They are all so cute
Rebecca S. says
My favorite Elephant and Piggie book is I Will Surprise My Friend my daughters favorite is I Broke My Trunk. However we both love all of them!
Lori Bradshaw says
Mine is I Really Like Slop!
Kristi Murawski says
We love this series. The characters are amazing and each book has a great message mixed with lots of laughter. My son loves “Can I play with you” he giggles thru most of it knowing what’s coming on the next page.
We found these a couple years ago at the library and now LOVE them. I would say “We are in a book is a favorite”.
Jill Dransfield says
We love Should I share my ice cream. It is hard to pick a favorite. We love them all!
Sandra G. says
My boys’ favorite is “Can I Play Too?”. We’re big Piggie and Elephant fans here!! Thanks for the chance to win that fun prize package!
Rosie Perez says
Our favorite book is “We are in a book” My son is three and enjoys both the English and Spanish version – “Estamos en un libro.” His favorite character is Gerald. He often asks me what Piggies name is. I love stepping into the characters! As I read, I change the tone in my voice, and use my entire body to make Piggie ad Gerald come to life in Spanish and English. My absolute favorite part of acting this out is watching my son crack up at my exaggerated facial expressions!
Karen W says
My daughter, who loves ice cream, LOVES “Should I share my ice cream”. The book is a scream!
“There’s a bird on your head” is my favorite.
Sarah Lim says
We love Should I Share my Ice Cream? It is one of my son’s favorites!
Sarah Lilly says
We love Elephant & Piggie books in my house! My favorite is We Are in a Book, but my daughter and husband’s favorite is Can I Play Too?
Oh, dear, it’s hard to choose. I think We Are In a Book and There’s a Bird On My Head are our favorites. I adore these books and they are so perfect for reluctant readers. I have been known to interrupt perfect strangers at the library who are looking for beginning reader books, to ask if they know Elephant and Piggie.
All four of my kids love them all and my oldest has taken to drawing the characters for her younger siblings. A fav is definitely We Are In a Book. It was our first and remains an instant laugh hit 🙂
We went to a story time where The Thank You Book was read and loved it! Especially the pigeon part
teri cameron says
I haven’t read any of these books yet but would love to read The Thank You book with my grandsons then look for more of them at the library.
We love all of these books! I really enjoy reading Let’s Go for a Drive. It is so much fun!
We love all the Piggie and Elephant books. So sad that Thank You is the last one. My daughter’s favourite one is We are a Book, with There is a Bird on Your Head. Love them all though.
We love There is a Bird on Your Head! So silly!
There is a Bird on Your Head is my favorite for sure, but My Friend is Sad and We Are in a Book are also big hits here. My four year old laughs like a maniac at “Banana!”
There is a Bird on Your Head was our first Elephant and Piggie book and remains my favorite. Would love to have the newest one!
Rachel M says
Too many amazing choices! My “nostalgic” favorite is “There is a Bird on Your Head” because it was our first Elephant and Piggie and I sometimes call it the “gateway drug” to this series. I asked my kids and they said “Are You Ready to Play Outside?” and “I will take a Nap”. One of my kids had an Elephant and Piggie themed birthday party last year – we just love these characters!
Shay Vogg says
There is a bird on your head and the Duckling and cookie one. We haven’t read the others but certainly will now!! Thanks for this awesome post!
We are in a Book! is our favorite!
I love to read all of the Elephant & Piggy books at preschool but our personal favorite is I Am Invited to a Party. My second oldest learned to read with this book because she loved parties so much! Party was the first word she read and she loved shouting “Party! Party! Party!” when she recognized it on every page.
Jennifer Thomson says
“I Love My New Toy!” is my favorite!
I am new to this series! My son loves the Pigeon series, and I now am going to search our local library for the Elephant & Piggie books,
Kate Guthro says
My children and I love the book, I am a frog, The kids laugh out loud while they read it to one another. It makes me smile to hear them love it so.
My Favorite is “There’s a Bird on Your Head”, but my boys love “Should I Share my Ice Cream?” We love Mo Willems! If anyone is in the NYC area, I really recommend the Art and Whimsy of Mo Willems exhibit at the NY Historical Society. We went this weekend as part of my Mother’s Day celebration. My 4 year-olds loved seeing the original drawings their favorite characters and watching the video of his artistic process.
I’d like to read A Big Guy Took My Ball.
We have so many. I would say either Watch Me Throw a Ball or We are in a Book! are our favorites. I love that these are books that my 4 year old and I both find hilarious and can laugh at.
We love this series so much that when we found out my twins were boy/girl I had someone make us Elephant and Piggie hats. When they babes wear them, their big brother calls them Gerald and Piggie and it makes my heart happy 🙂
PS Sorry if this comment is a repeat – I thought I commented earlier and don’t see it. If there is another comment waiting to be approved or something, I apologize.
These books are HILARIOUS!! I like them just as much as my two sons do. Our recent favorite (we haven’t found one we don’t love) is “I’m Invited to a Party”. Now whenever we’re getting ready to go anywhere, by boys shout, “We must be READY!”.
My preschooler will gladly tell you that Mo Willems is her favorite author, and his name was one of her first sight words. We have lots of favorites and reference them often (“There is a bird on your head” comes up most often for that), but I will defer to my daughter’s favorite based on quantity of readings, and that would be “Let’s Go for a Drive!” It’s a book I don’t even mind reading over and over, because she does most of the work at this point, and it’s so much fun. Thank you, Mo Willems, and thank you, No Time For Flashcards!
I have only read “Should I Share My Ice Cream”. Both I and the children in my classroom liked it so much that we can’t wait to read more.
I’m a k-5 librarian who feared up reading The Thank You book today. I think my all time favorite is We Are in a Book although it is very hard to choose!
These books are HILARIOUS! I don’t know who laughs more, me or my boys! We love all the ones we’ve read, but the most recent favorite is “I’m invited to a party”. Now when we’re getting ready for anything they will shout “we must be READY!”
—sorry if this is showing up twice. My first one isn’t coming up from this morning.
Kristin Ball says
We love Can I play too and We are in a Book. We own a lot and they are my 4 year olds daughter favorites. We do them as a play where all of us have a part. We can’t wait to read the new book!
Waiting Is Not Easy and There Is A Bird on Your Head are our favorites! We love Elephant and Piggie and are sad the series is ending.
“Should I Share My Ice Cream” has so much existential angst! Love them all though, really.
Our favorites are “I Will Surprise My Friend” and “Watch Me Throw the Ball”. We love Elephant and Piggie!!! Can’t wait to read the last book.
Jenny L says
My daughter’s favorite is There’s a bird on your head!
We like There is a Bird on Your Head.
i haven’t read the series, but the “big guy took my ball” sounds like a good one for us!
Jennifer Jahn says
I saw the Thank You book when I purchased the Let’s Go For A Drive book. Now I wish I had bought them both! That makes me sad, but what a sweet thing to do for his readers. That’s so awesome. We are fans of Elephant and Piggie. Now we need to discover Pigeon.
Traci Wilson says
We’ve never read these but they sound fantastic! Thanks so much for sharing. A Bird on Your Head, Can I Play too? and The Thank You book sounder particularly interesting for my little girl.
Cassandra Eastman says
Our favorite Elephant & Piggie book is “Let’s Go for a Drive!”. I can’t read one page without my children all bursting into laughter! We love it!!
Just started to read them to my daughter. We started with “We are in a Book.”
We read I like Slop all the time. My kiddo is finishing up K this year, and he reads harder books, but when he wants to curl up for his quiet reading time, he LOVES Elephant and Piggie. So sad this will be the last one.
Chantal E says
I am a children’s librarian and use Mo Willems’s books a lot for story times and programs. Next summer, at long last (costumes finally available for rent), we’ll be offering a special Mo Willems night as part of our summer learning kick-off, and Elephant and Piggie will be there LIVE to celebrate with our families. A favorite Elephant and Piggie book for the younger set for story hour is I Will Take a Nap – so funny, and the parents can appreciate the story as much as the kids.
Leeanna Holmes says
My almost 4 year old twins LOVE Piggie and Gerald! Our current fav is I Really Like Slop, though we cringe each time we read it. We are so sad this series is ending, but excited to see what Mo Willems will write next!
Robin Christine Terrell says
Our favorite is I Will Take A Nap!!
We are in a Book is our favorite and we read it again and again!
Deborrah Gauntlett says
My two grandsons and I love to read “I will take a nap” because the graphics are so funny and expressive. We live near Austin, Texas and the local theater group (Zach Scott theater) did a play made from four of the Elephant and Piggie books. We went and got to have pictures taken with Gerald and Piggie. When we read the books before bed, one grandson will read Gerald’s bubbles and the other grandson will read Piggie’s bubbles. They even got the stuffed Gerald and Piggie from Amazon. Love, love, love E&P!
My daughter loves Gerald & Piggie !! and I really enjoy reading them to her 🙂 Our favorites: “Waiting is not easy”, “There is a bird on your head”, “Can I play too”, “I really like slop”. She loves the Pigeon as well: “The pigeon needs a bath” ..haha
Tracie Garfinkle says
We Are In A Book is my classroom’s FAVORITE!!! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE all the books!!
Goaty/Auntie Chipmunk says
Thanks to the app MarcoPolo, I’m able to read Elephant and Piggie books to my grandson in Norway and to my grand-nephews in Pennsylvania. It’s especially nice because despite the many miles that separate us, the kids can still hear my commentary and laughter while I read. For a long time, my favorite book was the amazing and inventive, “We Are In a Book”. But OMG, “I Am Invited to a Party!” is beyond genius. Page after page of hilarious outfit changes only to find out…. well, I won’t spoil the ending for those of you who have yet to read it. Thank you, Mo, for your genius and generosity.