|Big guy took my ball! (Elephant & Piggie book)
Author: Willems, Mo
Piggie is upset because a whale took the ball she found, but Gerald finds a solution that pleases all of them.
Download a Teacher's Guide
|Accelerated Reader Information:
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 1.00
Points: .5 Quiz: 158336
|Reading Counts Information:
Interest Level: K-2
Reading Level: 1.00
Points: 1.0 Quiz: 77562
Theodor Seuss Geisel Beginning Reader Honor, 2014
Kirkus Reviews (04/15/13)
School Library Journal (07/01/13)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (09/13)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 05/01/2013 It’s possible that Willems’ flagship Elephant & Piggie series might go on forever, and it’s also possible that everyone would be okay with that. In this pleasing go-round, Piggie is aflutter after a traumatic incident. After Piggie found a “big ball,” a “big guy came” (cue teary-eyed stammering) “and—and—and—HE TOOK MY BALL!” This doesn’t sit right with Gerald, who is soon shaking his gray fist in indignance. He stomps off to confront the thief, only to find that, well, “He is very BIG.” (Picture the word BIG taking up half the page.) It is a blue whale that towers over our dynamic duo—pretty terrifying stuff until the whale gives readers a lesson on size: it’s all relative. If we’re quibbling, there’s some standing in place going on here as Gerald hems and haws over not getting back the big ball (or “little ball” as its known to the whale). But, as always, Willems’ staging of his characters and text across the white background is a master class in economy. Further classes forthcoming? Count on it. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Is it time yet to add a second Elephant & Piggie shelf in your library? - Copyright 2013 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 07/01/2013 PreS-Gr 1—Once again Willems observes truths about human behavior through the eyes of Gerald, an elephant, and Piggie. The premise this time is that Piggie's recently acquired ball has been snatched by some unknown creature, one so big that Piggie begs Gerald to intervene. But Gerald's perceived power and genuine desire to help his smaller friend cannot provide him with sufficient courage once he sees that he'll have to confront an enormous whale. Outward appearance is rarely a true indicator of inner feelings, though, and the same reality is reflected in the whale, who turns out to be a gentle giant who is remarkably polite. Size should never be a factor in determining friendship, and Willems's two pals are happy to have a new playmate. The story engages readers with delightfully familiar cartoon illustrations and invites them to follow it independently by reading the speech bubbles. This title is a wonderful addition to the series; it's particularly useful for discussions of inside and outside traits, as well as the tricky topic of threesomes.—Gloria Koster, West School, New Canaan, CT - Copyright 2013 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 09/01/2013 When a big guy takes a ball Piggie found, she appeals to her much bigger friend Gerald for redress. Normally timid Gerald, stung by the injustice, is happy to mount up and ride to the rescue, but he gets more than he bargained for when the big guy turns out to be a whale, literally, who dwarfs the quickly unemboldened Gerald. Fortunately, Gerald and Piggie pool their creative talents to make room for everyone, and harmony is restored. Willems has once again found the sweet spot where humor and situational familiarity meet cognitive capacity; here he introduces perspective through a very familiar playground experience. Introducing comparatives through illustration, font size, and the introduction of the -er word ending, he carves out both physical and moral space in the negotiation of the way size matters. The ball and Gerald are big to Piggie, but not to the ball’s owner; being big seems to hold all the advantages to our heroes, while being small has more allure for the lonely whale. The ability to see through the eyes of someone who thinks differently than you is an essential developmental leap that’s crucial for empathy, and Willems takes it even one step further in creating a game that requires the advantages of both big guys and small guys for its success. The pictures will keep ’em laughing, and the concepts will keep ’em learning, so we say, please, Mr. Willems, keep ’em coming. KC - Copyright 2013 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.