I Broke My Trunk! An Elephant & Piggie Book

Book review by
Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media
I Broke My Trunk! An Elephant & Piggie Book Book Poster Image
So super-silly, beginning readers won't be able to resist.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Thanks to an all-conversation-bubble format, this book builds some basic conversational skills as Piggie asks Elephant more and more questions like "Why?" and "What did you do?" Also, drawings of Elephant and Piggie offer exaggerated expressions, a helpful tool for kids with any social delays to decipher what the characters are feeling.

Positive Messages

Amist the silliness a lovely friendship is still at the heart of this story.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Elephant and Piggie are great friends who look out for each other.

Violence & Scariness

One broken trunk and one broken snout, both in bandages. Elephant looks like he's going to break his trunk any minute (he's sweating and grimacing) when he's carrying all those heavy animals.


What parents need to know

Parents need to know that I Broke My Trunk! is an incredibly silly installment in the Elephant & Piggie series and the winner of a Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor, an award given to books for beginning readers. Both new readers and pre-readers will get into Elephant's wild tale of how he got hurt. Since the story is told enitrley in conversation bubbles, kids will build some basic conversation skills. Parents of children with social delays will also like the exaggerated expressions of three-time Caldecott Honor winner Mo Willems' animal characters as an easy way to explore feelings.

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What's the story?

Piggie is just wondering where his best friend Gerald the Elephant is when he shows up with a big bandage on his trunk. Of course Piggie wants to know what happened. Elephant admits it's a \"long, crazy story\" and begins to tell Piggie about all the heavy animals and one piano he balanced on his trunk. But -- surprise! -- that's not how he got hurt. Poor Piggie can't stand the suspense any longer. How did it really happen?

Is it any good?

Even the most reluctant reader will not be able to resist I BROKE MY TRUNK! If they're not drawn into the hilarity of two hippos, a rhino, and a piano all balanced on Elephant's trunk, there's always the nail-biting suspense. "HOW DID YOU BREAK YOUR TRUNK!?!" Piggie finally shouts in all-caps, arms waving, when Elephant's crazy story seems to be getting nowhere toward a real answer. Kids are strung along with Piggie for 50 pages before the surprising truth comes out and the whole thing ends with a huge laugh at poor Piggie's expense. Just like that, your reluctant reader has blown through a 57-page book, laughing all the way. This is how it's done.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what the funniest part of this story is. Is it when Elephant is balancing all those big animals? Or what happens at the end?

  • Until he gets impatient and just has to know what happened, Piggie is a good listener to Elephant's story, asking questions to keep him going. What does he ask?

  • Are you a good listener to your friends' stories? Take turns telling stories and asking questions.

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love Funny books and animals stories

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