If you have kids, teach kids, have seen kids pottering around, you will most likely be familiar with Mo Willem’s work. From “Knuffle Bunny” to “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus,” “That is not a Good Idea” to “Amanda and her Alligator,” this author is the bread and butter, the meat and potatoes, the nuts and bolts for young readers. His books look effortlessly simple, yet he chips away, much like a master sculptor with his rasp on marble and what is left are books where children can replicate easily his illustrations and grasp the minimalist plots. His stories are hilarious; warm, insightful and he is an expert in what makes a book readable to a kid.
“The Thank You book” is Willem’s most recent book (available for check out starting today!). In this book featuring two of my favorite kid lit characters, Piggie (an adorable little pig) and Gerald (a wise and loving elephant) discuss the notion of being thankful. Indeed Piggie decides to embark on what he coins “a THANK-O-RAMA;” a festival of thanks where he will sing the praises of all his friends. Gerald is fearful that Piggie may forget someone important. Piggie thanks the squirrels for their great ideas, the flies for cooking with him and a whole host of his friends (and if you are a fan of the pigeon, there’s a special little cameo). Piggie sure does thank a lot of friends but, as his intelligent friend foresees, he forgets to thank someone very special.
It is perhaps no coincidence that this book came out during Teacher Appreciation week; a time when we look to our educators and celebrate the important role they play in our society. This is a great book for young readers to introduce them to the idea of taking time to reflect on what they are thankful for, and to thank those who enrich our lives. Check out this book in our Children’s section and, if you haven’t already discovered this author, you’re in for a big treat! This is the VERY LAST book in the series and though it’s very sad to think there will be no more Piggie and Gerald, I am very thankful for the great ride!