A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
As with any great beginning-reader book, many words are repeated, and there are lots of facial expressions and character actions to go along with the exciting story to keep kids reading. The exaggerated expressions also are a good tool to help kids with social delays decipher what the characters are feeling.
Feelings of worry and jealousy are replaced by the simple joy of making new friends and finding ways to show appreciation for the ones you have.
Positive Role Models
Elephant is quite the worrier until he understands that Piggie is thinking about him, even when he's with his new friend.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that My New Friend Is So Fun! is another sweet installment in Mo Willems' award-winning Elephant & Piggie series for beginning readers. This one tackles a common social worry for kids just learning to build friendships. The usually inseparable duo have met new friends, and Elephant is worried that Piggie is having way more fun with Brian Bat and forgetting all about him. As in the other Elephant & Piggie books, the story's told in conversation bubbles and in the exaggerated expressions of the animal characters, making it easy for parents of kids with social delays to explore conversation tools and feelings.
Is It Any Good?
Here we are at the 21st Elephant & Piggie installment, and the series is still going strong. MY NEW FRIEND IS SO FUN! isn't as insanely clever as We Are in a Book or Let's Go for a Drive, but it still focuses on an important social concept for the beginning-reader crowd. And it does it in a sweet way: throwing in a reminder for kids that one way of being a great friend is showing your friends how much you appreciate them.
As in the rest of the series, this one needs to be read aloud -- and at a high volume most of the time, to capture Elephant's hilariously extreme reactions. So it works as a bedtime read only if you lead with it and chase it down with a healthy stack of the quiet stuff.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.