Top positive review
My New Friend Is So Fun
Reviewed in the United States on June 4, 2014
My family has enjoyed Elephant and Piggie for several years. We own most of the books, and we pre-ordered My New Friend Is So Fun back in December.
This installment of the series focuses on Gerald, and brings back the Snake character from Can I Play Too? When Gerald finds out that Piggie is playing with her new friend Brian Bat, he is very excited. But then slowly, Gerald begins to worry that Piggie and Brian might be having too much fun together. Gerald and Snake (who is Brian’s best friend) imagine themselves being replaced.
I love Gerald-centric books because they really showcase the elephant at his neurotic best. Gerald manages to get himself into a frenzy, but it is all for naught: Piggie would never abandon her best friend. The ending is quite sweet, and solidifies the message that people can have multiple friends.
I found this book to be especially relevant to our own lives because one of my girls has trouble with the concept that friends can play with other people. She and her best friend are reluctant to play with other children. This book presents friendship in a fun and engaging manner.
The illustrations are charming. Mo Willems gives his characters a broad emotional range, and this adds to the humor value of the story. The illustrations appear on a plain white background, so the emphasis is on body language and facial expressions. I have two children on the autism spectrum, so having well defined body language and facial expressions helps us have conversations about how a character is thinking.
Elephant and Piggie books are great for reading out loud with a beginning reader. There is no descriptive prose; the characters communicate via speech bubbles. The language is fairly simple, and words/phrases are often repeated.
I would absolutely recommend My New Friend Is So Fun. We just got this book yesterday, and it has already been read multiple times. The book is 57 pages long, but there are only a couple of lines per page, so it is a quick read.