Let's Go for a Drive! (An Elephant and Piggie Book)
Publication Date: October 2012
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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.
In Let's Go for a Drive! Gerald and Piggie want to hit the road! But the best-laid plans of pigs and elephants often go awry.
Mo Willems (www.pigeonpresents.com), a number one New York Times best-selling author and illustrator, has been awarded a Caldecott Honor on three occasions (for Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale, and Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity). Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! was also an inaugural inductee into the Indies Choice Picture Book Hall of Fame. And his celebrated Elephant & Piggie early reader series has been awarded the Theodor Seuss Geisel Medal on two occasions (for There Is a Bird on Your Head! and Are You Ready to Play Outside?) as well as three Honors (for We Are in a Book!, I Broke My Trunk!, and Let's Go for a Drive!). Other favorites include Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed and City Dog, Country Frog, illustrated by Jon J Muth.
When Gerald the elephant and Piggie decide to go for a drive, they find that all the planning in the world can't replace one crucial ingredient. "Let's go for a drive!" proposes Gerald; "That sounds fun!" agrees Piggie. "Drive! Drive! Drivey-drive-drive!" they chorus. Gerald, a touch on the OCD side, insists on a plan that includes a number of items: map, sunglasses, umbrellas, bags and, as there will be "a lot of driving on [their] drive," a car. Oops. Piggie doesn't have one; "[a] pig with a car would be silly." Neither does Gerald. Whatever will they do? The dauntless duo's 18th outing employs Willems' award-winning formula: color-coded speech bubbles; lots of white space; endearing visual characterization (Gerald's emotional journey as he realizes the tragedy a-borning is hysterical); effortless phonetic play; thoughtfully designed endpapers; silliness. The pair's refrain incorporates each new element to Gerald's plan in a way that is both classically childlike and slyly pedagogical. After "Map! Map! Mappy-map-map!" children will enjoy anticipating how sunglasses, umbrellas and bags will fit into that pattern-and likely start playing with other words as well. Gerald and Piggie's solution? Typically elegant and entirely satisfying. Which describes the book as well. (Early reader. 4-8)—Kirkus
K-Gr 2 Best friends Elephant and Piggie are back in a new adventure that extols imaginative play and flexibility. Type-A Elephant suggests going for a drive (narrated hilariously by the friends with a Pigeon-esque "Drive! Drive! Drivey-drive-drive!"), but cannot stop panicking about contingencies long enough to relax. Piggie gamely supplies solutions to assuage Elephant's concerns, each time adding a new sound effect to their play "Map! Map! Mappy-map-map!" and so on guaranteeing laughs from children. Eventually, Elephant thinks of a need that Piggie cannot supply, causing him to have a flat-out meltdown (also reminiscent of the Pigeon), but in the end, Piggie's quick thinking saves the day. The clean line drawings mirror and support the concise text; both avoid unnecessary details while evoking the full range of emotion. The deceptive simplicity and the comic-book layout will entice even reluctant readers, and is a perfect read-aloud for groups of a wide age range. A must-have for every library. -Rebecca Dash Donsky, New York Public Library—SLJ
Just in case your collection needed a little more gray and pink, here comes the latest mini drama of Gerald the elephant and Piggie the pig. "Piggie!" shouts Gerald. "I have a great idea! Let's go for a drive!" Piggie's down with that idea, and so begins a pattern. First, Gerald thinks of something they'll need: "First, we need a map." Second, Piggie runs to get the item. Third, Gerald speaks to the reader about why the idea was such a darned good one. And, fourth, Piggie returns, and the friends freak out with excitement: "Map! Map! Mappy-map-map!" The laugh factor here will depend on readers' tolerance for repetition. Still, though, even as we approach 20 books in the series, it's hard to imagine getting sick of these two simply yet expertly drafted goofballs. The map, designed with scraps of an actual map, adds a new visual interest, and the ending, as always, is perfect. But you were going to buy this anyway, right? - Daniel Kraus—Booklist