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It won't surprise parents to hear that author/illustrator Mo Willems got his start writing for Sesame Street; the same smart but developmentally appropriate attitude is all over his picture books. This Elephant and Piggie book will remind readers of vintage Dr. Seuss series regular P.D. Eastman, who wrote classics like Go, Dog. Go! A similar sensibility drives this book: simple pictures, likable characters, and snappy dialogue in an easy-to-read, kid-friendly format.
Willems' scratchy, casual illustrations convey the action and character emotion. The lack of background keeps the focus on language and makes the punctuation -- somewhat sophisticated for this level -- less daunting. TODAY I WILL FLY is entertaining enough that adults will want to read it aloud, but has enough emotional action that beginning readers will be satisfied that this is no book for babies. For such a tight vocabulary, an awful lot happens in this well-presented book.