A sassy pigeon, a beloved bunny, an oblivious dinosaur, a terrible monster, a clothed naked mole rat, an elephant and piggie buddy duo… what do they all have in common? If you don’t know the answer to that question, then get thee to a library and go directly to the W shelf of the children’s section. The creator behind all those uniquely wonderful characters is, of course, Mo Willems, who is considered a genius among authors in our household. The kids and I were all thrilled to see that not only does he have a new book out, but that this one will literally be bursting with fun.
Big Frog Can’t Fit In, Mo Willems’ first ‘pop out’ book, is filled with surprises on each page, from pull-tabs that help propel the story along to elaborate unfolding action that occurs as each page is turned. Like the Pigeon of Willems’ Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! fame, Big Frog is sparsely drawn, but full of heart. With three lower lashes on each eye, and a smile containing one surprising gold tooth, she conveys her emotions through simple grimaces, lowered lids, and warm grins. With the help of some more traditionally-sized froggy friends, the book concludes on a happy note, with a grand finale that’s sure to please the little ones.
I harbor no secrecy about my love for all of Mo Willems’ work, which I have greatly enjoyed sharing with my own children, as well as many preschool classes over the years. I can confidently say that Big Frog Can’t Fit In will most definitely fit in happily among the preschool and younger elementary set for its fun interactive nature, as well as the sheer lovability of its larger than life main character. My only question is this- how long will we have to wait until a plush Big Frog is available for the little ones to cuddle with as we read and experience this book together?
If you’re interested in reading my take on what it was like to meet Mo Willems at this year’s National Book Festival in Washington, DC, please head over to my recent On Reading post- Meeting the Minds Behind the Books, or you can read a transcript of the interview on my blog as well.
Dawn considers children’s literature to be a constant source of joy and happiness, regardless of one’s age. That must be why it comes up again and again on her own blog, my thoughts exactly.