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Friday, March 12, 2010

I Love My New Toy! Written and illustrated by Mo Willems. Hyperion, H B Fenn. $9.99 ages 3 and up

"Hi, Piggie! What are you doing?
I love my new toy."

She doesn't know what it does, but Piggie knows she loves it! Gerald is inquisitive and wonders what is so special about it. Piggie offers it to him for a quick see how it works. Gerald is quick to release it into the air. When it returns to earth, it BREAKS! The friends are aghast! Elephant accepts responsibility but Piggie is MAD! She is mad and she is sad. Gerald is sorry, so sorry. He can't be sorry enough, and Piggie is not appeased. They cry together (in each other's arms) until a squirrel happens by with an astute observation....Piggie has a 'break-and-snap' toy!

Imagine their embarrassment when they discover that Squirrel is right and the toy can be taken apart and put together with a quick snap! Their faces tell the tale again and again. When Piggie offers the toy to Elephant once more, Elephant refuses to touch it. He doesn't want to play with that new toy, he would rather play with his friend. Off they go at a run, toy left behind and delight in their voices.

What fun you can have with these books when you invite two children (or three, in this case) to read them to the class, or in assembly, or for a parent night. It will take some practice, give them great joy to share the fun, and they will be using their reading skills at the same time. Now, that's what we are looking for in early years classrooms.

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