Sherry's Reviews > I Love My New Toy!

I Love My New Toy! by Mo Willems
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Jun 18, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: j-pb-er-middle-grade-ya-fict-and-nf, nelson-humor, hmmm
Read in August, 2010

Can't get better than this for storytime if you love drama! My favorite Elephant & Piggie book! Willems' comical and expressive illustrations illuminate his words. It's in the eyes, eyebrows, and facial expressions as well as the body language. It's in the text, which can be bolded one minute, with exclamation marks, then quiet and lowercase, or no comment at all. Vocabulary repetition is a teaching element within all the books in this series. Hard to pull off in a short book, with few words to begin with. But Willems honed his craft as a writer on Sesame Street, where short sketches are the norm.

Little kids latch onto toys for no other reason than they love the idea of owning that toy. Perhaps this is why the book gets off to such a great start: (Piggie) "LOOK AT MY NEW TOY!!! I love my new toy." (Gerald) "What does it do?" (Piggie) "I have no idea." Gerald puzzles "Maybe it is a throwing toy." Next, his expression changes to devious delight, showing us the jealous side of children who envy others' possessions: "I love throwing toys." Gerald's eyes glow red when Piggie innocently hands him the coveted toy; "Yes!" says Gerald. Gerald throws the toy high into the air. When it falls and breaks on the ground, anger and sorrow ensue, but the comic relief is in the form of a little squirrel, who understands that the toy is meant to break and snap, and that the toy is, in fact, not broken at all. The twosome are bewildered, then Piggie is embarrased and tries to make amends. Gerald is no longer interested in the toy, but before Piggie can completely fall apart, Gerald states "I want to play with you. Friends are more fun than toys." Running off into the distance, playing tag (ostensibly to find the trademark pigeon in the end pages!), Willems gets a star in my book for teaching kids the value to place on friendship. If you haven't read any of Elephant & Piggie, read this one first!
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message 1: by Lars (new)

Lars Guthrie Not only does Mo Willems pull off great content with minimal verbiage in the 'Elephant and Piggie' series. He also makes these books accessible to emerging readers. They have been a big hit with several of the kids with whom I work.


Sherry Most definitely. My youngest, who is 4, learned to read the words in this book. A teacher I know loves to use these books in the classroom. The joy, love and concern that the animals have for each other is great. The other thing these books show kids, subconsciously, is that it is normal to go through the gamut of negative emotions in a friendship - anger, frustration, jealousy, misunderstandings - but you still can make amends and make positive friendship the priority.


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