Author(s): Mo Willems
Gerald is careful. Piggie is not. Piggie cannot help smiling. Gerald can. Gerald and Piggie are best friends. In Can I Play Too? Gerald and Piggie meet a new snake friend who wants to join in a game of catch. But don't you need arms to catch? Mo Willems' Geisel Award-winning duo never fails to tickle readers of all ages. Like previous Elephant & Piggie Books, this adventure has been vetted by an early learning specialist and emerging learners themselves. It turns reading into play.
This beginning reader focuses on differently abled animals as Elephant and Piggy get ready for a game of catch. Before they begin, Snake asks to join them. Simple gestures and facial expressions convey Elephant's embarrassment at Snake's inability to catch a ball. Piggy breaks the silence stating, "You don't have arms!" and Snake dejectedly slithers away. On the next page, Snake diffuses his rejection by saying, "Hee-hee! Ha-ha! Hee-hee! Ha-ha! Hee-hee! I know I do not have arms./I am a snake." Elephant asks, "But can a snake play catch?" The story moves from clever to cruel as Elephant throws the ball and hits Snake on the head, and the reptile's expressions indicate distress. Piggy follows suit, with the same result. Then Elephant decides, "Maybe we need more balls," and the next spread shows Elephant and Piggy bombarding Snake with balls, each one hitting him with a "BONK!" and Snake upside down in anguish. Then Piggy gets the idea to use Snake as the ball. Snake happily says, "Whee!" to which Piggy replies, "I love playing catch with my friends!" While all ends on a positive note, Jeanne Willis's Susan Laughs (Holt, 2000) and Grace Maccarone's The Gym Day Winner (Scholastic, 1996) offer more respectful treatments of inclusion. SLJ"
Number one" New York Times "best"-"selling author and illustrator Mo Willems has been awarded a Caldecott Honor on three occasions (for "Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!," "Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale," and "Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity"). Other favorites include "Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed "and "Big Frog Can't Fit In." Mo began his career on "Sesame Street," where he garnered six Emmy Awards. #1 New York Times Bestselling author and illustrator Mo Willems has been awarded a Caldecott Honor on three occasions (for DON'T LET THE PIGEON DRIVE THE BUS!, KNUFFLE BUNNY: A CAUTIONARY TALE, and KNUFFLE BUNNY TOO: A TALE OF MISTAKEN IDENTITY) and his acclaimed Elephant and Piggie early reader series received the Theodor Seuss Geisel Medal in 2008 and 2009. He lives with his wife and daughter in Western Massachusetts.