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Can I Play Too? (An Elephant and Piggie Book)

by Willems Mo

Published by Hyperion, 2010
57 pages
ISBN: 978–142311991–3

Ages 3-7

Mo Willems continues to delight with Elephant and Piggie, whose humorous exchanges—all conveyed through speech bubbles—are a gift to beginning readers. In Can I Play Too? the two are starting a game of catch when a snake asks to join the game. The request challenges Elephant and Piggie to tactfully point out the obvious—the snake has no arms to catch the ball. The snake is eager to try, but after several unsuccessful attempts (it’s literally bombarded with balls), Piggie comes up with a much better way to include their new friend in the game. In We Are in a Book! Elephant and Piggie make a stunning discovery: “The reader is reading these word bubbles. We are in a book!” Piggie is quick to realize the powerful position this puts them in. She makes the reader say “Banana,” which sends Elephant into gales of laughter. And when the book is coming perilously close to its end, the answer is obvious. “Will you please read us again?” Willems’s deceptively simple dialogue and illustrations not only are brimming with wit but also grounded in conventions that support both reading and visual literacy.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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