We’ve already established that I love Mo Willems, and pretty much everything that he’s done. I love Pigeon. I love Elephant and Piggie.
And I love books that break the fourth wall. Or that have no concept of the fourth wall to begin with.
Enter We Are in a Book!
I love Pigeon for his epic overloads of sass, but I love Elephant Gerald and Piggie simply for their friendship:
Gerald is careful. Piggie is not.
Piggie cannot help smiling. Gerald can.
Gerald worries so that Piggie does not have to.
Gerald and Piggie are best friends.
And they are adorable, and so are all of their stories. If I have to limit myself to just one, though… We Are in a Book! wins. In it, Gerald and Piggie discover that they are, in fact, in a book. That a reader is reading them.
At first there is excitement. (“We are in a book? THAT IS SO COOL!”) There are shenanigans. (“Oh! I have a good idea! I can make the reader say a word!”)
Then comes the realisation that their book, like all books, will end, and the panic sets in. (“This book is going too fast,” Gerald wails. “I have more to give!”)
But eventually, they come to realise the great thing about books: Every book ends, but it can also be picked back up and read again and again. ♥
It’s great for kids because it approaches fictional characters quite literally as friends, and shows just how books can evoke empathy. But I think that every adult reader should have a copy on their shelf, too — and every author ought to have one on their desk!