Monday, November 2, 2009

children's book review: I Will Surprise My Friend! by Mo Willems

Welcome to the first day of 2008 Cybils Finalists: Easy Readers at nomadreader! The Cybils are children's and young adult literary awards awarded by book bloggers. The 2009 nomination period has passed, and the panel is busy reading all of the nominations. The finalists will be announced on January 1, 2010. I'd love to serve on a future Cybils panel, so I'm reading all of the finalists from 2008 and making my case for which book should win. This week, I'm looking at the 2008 Easy Reader finalists. Each day I'll review on of the five finalists, and I'll bring you my verdict on Saturday.

It's no secret I adore Mo Willems. Knuffle Bunny is one of my favorite children's books, and Knuffle Bunny Too is perhaps my favorite children's picture book. I thoroughly enjoy his blog as well.  The Elephant and Piggie series consistently manages to delight young children and adults. Although I can't speak from experience, these are books I would not tire of reading to my children, yet they're simple enough to captivate and enchant children as young as two. I don't know how he does it, but I'm so glad he has the talent.

I Will Surprise My Friend! is hilarious. Elephant and Piggie are out for a walk and come across a squirrel hiding to surprise his friend. As both squirrels loved the surprise, they quickly decide to it again. Naturally, Elephant and Piggie decide it is a good idea to surprise each other too. The joy of Elephant and Piggie books, of course, is not necessarily the plot. Telling the story is never as entertaining as reading it. Willems displays a multitude of emotions with his simple drawings, and the chemistry between Elephant and Piggie is fantastic. If you haven't read the Elephant and Piggie books, plop down at a bookstore or library and read a few. I bet you'll find yourself laughing and trying to figure out what friends and family members have children of appropriate ages to give these books.

Cybils Easy Reader week is off to an excellent start. There is another Elephant and Piggie book in contention too!

Rating: 5 stars (out of 5 stars)
Pages: 57
Publication date: 2008
Source: my local public library

1 comment:

  1. Interesting strategy for becoming a cybils judge. Good luck! And a nice review, too.


Thank you for taking the time to comment. Happy reading!