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Sunday, March 14, 2010

My Friend is Sad, written and illustrated by Mo Willems. Hyperion, H B Fenn. 2007. $9.99 ages 3 and up

"My friend is sad.
I will make him happy!
A cowboy!"

Sadness is an emotion that each of us feels at some time or the other. What we need when it washes over us is a friend like Piggie, who is honor bound to do all that she can do to improve the situation. She will be a cowboy, a clown, a robot, or whatever else she needs to be to cheer her sad friend Gerald. She knows Gerald and knows what he loves, but nothing seems to make him smile.

When Piggie shows up uncostumed and looking like herself, Gerald is delighted. Piggie is sad because she could do nothing to make him happy. He is on longer sad; he is thrilled to see his friend. He tells her that he saw a cowboy, but he was sad that Piggie was not there to share the sighting and excitement. And, there was more!

As he regales her with all she missed and how sad he was not to share it with her, she cannot believe what she is hearing. She recognizes what is happening, but contains her frustration with his inept reasoning and his inability to make the connection with her attempts to please him. When he decides that he needs his friends, she is quick to recognize that he might actually need new glasses.

Once again, the text is expressive and so much fun to share. The art is the same, and says so much without saying a word. A great way to introduce students to character study, using information they garner as they watch and listen.

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