Last spring, the final Elephant & Piggie book, The Thank You Book, was published. Now Mo Willems and a series of writers are bringing you the Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! series. Each book has a book within a book: Gerald and Piggie introduce each book, we read it with them and then they come back and comment on it. Like every book in the original series, there is plenty of humor and drama in each one.
The first book, We Are Growing by Laurie Keller is as Gerald (Elephant for the uninitiated) says about watching grass grow. We meet eight blades of grass, one after another start to grow, each in their own way. One is the tallest, one is the curliest, one is the silliest and one is a dandelion. Two are pointy and one is crunchy but one, named Walt, does not know what he is. What is that buzzing noise? It helps Walt find out.
The Cookie Fiasco by Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat is the next book in the series. Again Gerald and Piggie introduce the book. The story involves a crocodile, a hippo, two squirrels and three cookies. How can everyone have an equal share of cookies when there are four of them and and three cookies? After much mayhem, the answer involves a hippo who breaks things when he is nervous and division. Gerald feels hungry after reading the book and Piggie brings just the right number of cookies and glasses of milk for them to share.
The Sonoma County Library has eight copies of We Are Growing! and six copies of The Cookie Fiasco. Since both books were published today no AR level has been assigned yet. The original series had AR levels from .5 to 1.3, these books have bigger words but can be sounded out by kids with the phonics skills of mid to late first grade. The font is large and there are limited words on each page. Fans of the original series will love this one, too.