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WATCH ME THROW THE BALL (An Elephant and Piggie Book)

Author: Mo Willems

Illustrator: Mo Willems

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Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children,

Material: hard cover

Summary: Gerald is very proud of how far he threw the ball. Piggie is impressed, and now he wants a turn to throw it. When Piggie says the secret to throwing is having fun, Gerald is shocked! Throwing is not easy, it takes hard work. Piggie is very pleased with his first throw. It goes around the world! Even after he learns that he threw the ball backward, he skips off very pleased with himself. For a moment, Gerald is confused ... it didn't go far, so why is Piggie happy? This is an easy reader told in a dialogue format.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, anytime reading, playtime reading, read aloud book, learning to read

Recommended Age: read together: 2 to 6; read yourself: 4 to 8

Interest Level: 2 to 8

Reading Level: 0.5

Age of Child: Read by a 7-year-old girl.

Young Reader Reaction: Our daughter is well past these books, but Elephant and Piggie are like old friends to her. The minute she saw them, she grabbed them, ran off to read, and shortly thereafter started laughing. Then she needed to come tell us the story.

Adult Reader Reaction: You can never go wrong with an Elephant and Piggie book. I love them all, but would have to say this is my favorite (so far). Like all of the stories, there is a great, easy-to-digest lesson, but Piggie really lets his personality shine when he thinks he's thrown the ball around the world. It's impossible NOT to read the story without lots of emotion and dancing.

Pros: Humor and two good friends make this a go-to easy reader for young children. Willems makes it easy for them to see the concept of the glass half full/the glass half empty.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Buy. This is one of those rare easy readers that you will want on your shelves forever.


Educational Themes: With lots of sight words and vocabulary repetition, this is a book built for emerging and new readers. There is a lesson about friendship, as always, and in this one Gerald learns that sometimes just having fun is accomplishment enough.

Notes: This publisher sent a copy of this book as part of the 2009-2010 Children's and Young Adult Bloggers Literary Award (Cybils) process. We also read a library copy. This review is not intended to represent the opinions of the Cybils.

Literary Categories: Fiction - animal characters, easy reader series, humor

Date(s) Reviewed: November 2009

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