Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Thank YOU, Elephant & Piggie!

Modern Mrs. Darcy is devoting this whole week of blogging (and podcasting) to reading for a lifetime!  Check out all of this week's MMD posts, particularly her 7 Tips for Raising Kids Who Love to Read.

Am I raising kids who love to read?  I hope so.  I think so.

It seems the perfect time to mention (again) a series of books that really helped my beginning readers gain confidence and find pleasure in the act of reading.  The Elephant & Piggie books by Mo Willems have so much going for them:
* They are genuinely funny.  The combination of dialogue and illustrations is witty perfection.
* They are easy to read without feeling clunky, forced, or just plain lame (like some books for beginning readers).
* They are perfect for reading aloud.  Both of my sons brought in Elephant & Piggie books to share with the class when it was their turn to read aloud at school.  These books are ideal for practicing reading with expression.
* They are fun for reading together.  Divide up the parts and read aloud.

* Plus, there's a game!  Mo Willems hides Pigeon from another popular series of his (Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! and etc.) in the endpapers of each book.  Even now my kids make sure to look for Pigeon.

Last spring, Mo Willems published the final Elephant and Piggie title:  The Thank You Book.  It's a very sweet story that revisits characters from throughout the series and even includes a couple inside jokes.  I read it with my middle and little when it first came out.  Two nights ago, I made my oldest read it to me.  I welled up a bit, remembering how thrilled I was when he was first able to read these books aloud.  Cue the cliches about how fast it all goes.  But it does. 

Thank you, Mo Willems, for helping me raise kids who love to read.

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