Friday, October 15, 2010
We Are in a Book! by Mo Willems
There is a reason young elementary students (and adults) adore Mo Willems. It's an art to a evoke a stirring emotional truth within the necessary constraints of a beginning reader.
A great beginning reader is as tightly crafted as a perfect poem. It has to be concise, emotionally engaging, have a satisfying plot line, and the language must be simple enough for new readers to decode. The illustrations need to support the text by offering clues to the word meanings, on every page.
Willems' latest, We Are in a Book, delivers humor as well as poignancy in this limited-vocabulary story. The two characters, Elephant and Piggie, become self-conscious when they realize they are characters in this book. At first they feel powerful, but when they consider that all books eventually end, they go through a kind of existential angst. They eventually come up with a solution that the reader can choose to implement, by re-reading the book.
We Are in a Book is the twelfth title in Mo Willems' beginning reader series, "Elephant & Piggie." 2010.