This is going to be a two-for-one review because I couldn’t decide which of Mo Willems’ books I liked best.

Should I Share My Ice Cream? by Mo Willems and published by Hyperion Book CH in 2011 is a winner any time of the year–summer, spring, winter or fall. But more delicious than ice cream is how Elephant remembers his friend, Piggie. Elephant debates whether to share his ice cream or not. Then he worries that Piggie won’t like the flavor. When the ice cream is a puddle on the ground, Elephant thinks he has failed but Piggie comes up and surprises him by offering him some ice cream. Elephant worries that this wasn’t his plan but decides things don’t always have to go his way. It works just as well Piggie’s way. The reader will learn two things: friendship isn’t always easy and friendship is a two-way street, even when it’s just about ice cream.

In Happy Pig Day! published by Hyperion Book CH in 2011, Mo Willems uses few words and great visual expressions to show Piggie’s excitement over Happy Pig Day. In contrast, Gerald, his elephant friend with his big trunk, big ears and feet, grows sadder and sadder because he’s not a pig and he feels left out. Elephant watches all the other pigs and doesn’t join in the party. As the party continues he backs off the page until only half of him is left. Piggie assures him that Happy Pig Day is for anyone who loves pigs. The picture shows all kinds of animals taking off their “pig” masks. Elephant is so relieved that he shouts, “Oinky, oink, oink,” and blows them all over.

Besides this surprising twist, the reader will be delighted to celebrate Happy Pig Day along with everyone else. As a summer project, he might want to make his own “pig” mask or decorate cupcakes for a party with friends.

Carol Green, a graduate of Northwestern, is married and the mother of three adult children. Her five grandchildren affectionately call her “Grams cracker.”

She is the published author of many poems for both adults and children; three coloring books: God Gave Me Five, ABC Fun Book, and Color God’s World Bright; and the picture book: My Mom Loves Me.

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