Can I Play Too? (Elephant & Piggie)

by Mo Willems (Author) Mo Willems (Illustrator)

Can I Play Too? (Elephant & Piggie)
Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

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!
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School Library Journal

K-Gr 2--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.--Laura Scott, Farmington Community Library, MI

Copyright 2010 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

The latest Elephant and Piggie book displays all the snappy pacing and wry humor readers have come to expect of the Geisel Medal winning series, with a valuable lesson in friendship and flexibility tucked inside. Gerald and Piggie decide to play catch, but when Snake slithers up asking to play too, they are a bit dubious. "You do not want to play with me?" Snake asks sadly. "No!" exclaims Gerald. "We do want to play with you. / But..." "We are playing catch," Piggie explains. "With our arms," Gerald elaborates. "So?" says Snake. This awkward moment resolves with the three friends trying to play catch, with predictable results ("BONK!"). More balls ("BONK! BONK! BONK! BONK!...") isn't the answer, but then Piggie has an idea (illustrated by a compact fluorescent light bulb) that provides the ideal solution. Page turns and placement of speech bubbles are customarily flawless, yielding multiple guffaws, but this story also provides much-needed guidance to kids who are navigating the etiquette minefield of friendship among peers of differing abilities. Brilliantly subtle and spot-on. - Kirkus
Classification
Fiction
ISBN-13
9781423119913
Lexile Measure
180L
Guided Reading Level
G
Publisher
Hyperion Books for Children
Publication date
June 20, 2010
Series
Elephant & Piggie
BISAC categories
JUV039060 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Friendship
JUV002200 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Pigs
JUV051000 - Juvenile Fiction | Imagination & Play
JUV002080 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Elephants
JUV002220 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Reptiles & Amphibians
Library of Congress categories
Pigs
Swine
Friendship
Elephants
Snakes
Play

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