Monday, May 9, 2016

The Thank You Book: Elephant and Piggie Call It a Day

The Thank You Book
written and illustrated by Mo Willems
2016 (Hyperion)
Source: Orange County Public Library

Speaking directly to, otherwise acknowledging or doing something to the audience through this imaginary wall – or, in film, television, and video games, through a camera – is known as "breaking the fourth wall". 
- Wikipedia

One of the great duos of children's literature has said farewell. After nine years and twenty-five books, Gerald the Elephant and Piggie have called it a day. This delightful duo goes out in style. Piggie decides that she has a lot to be thankful for. In order to show her gratitude, she is going to thank everyone who is important to her. What follows is a thanking of a wide list of animals from large (Hippo's Big Sister, Whale) to small (Flies). Even a special guest from another book series (think wannabe bus driver) makes an appearance. The problem is that Piggie, as Gerald predicted earlier, left out an important someone. It takes a few clues, and a little anger, but finally Piggie remembers who and it's not Gerald. A satisfying end to a classic series.

I'm intrigued when characters directly talk to the reader or viewer. Two examples that come to mind are Garry Shandling and Ferris Bueller. Gerald and Piggie also break the fourth wall in order to say something special to neatly tie up this series. This really isn't goodbye, because these two will continue to be loved and read by generations of early readers.

1 comment:

  1. I love that Mr. Willems did a series-ending book! Thanks for sharing with us at Booknificent Thursday on this week!


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