My Friend Is Sad (An Elephant & Piggie Book)

by Mo Willems

Paperback, 2008



Call number




Scholastic (2008)


When Gerald the Elephant is sad, Piggie is determined cheer him up, but finds after many tries that it only takes the simplest thing to change Gerald's mood.

User reviews

LibraryThing member BiblioFool
Mo Willems’ picture book, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus (and the sequels) were huge hits with the youngsters in my family. While the pigeon books are intended to be read aloud, My Friend is Sad is a simple reader for children venturing into the world of independent reading. With a simple,
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repetitive text, large typeface, and oddball humour, this is one of several books by Willems aimed at early readers. Featuring best friends Elephant Gerald and Piggie, the message (life’s joyous moments are best shared with someone special) is saved from becoming too sweet by the humourous tone of both the text and illustrations. Not quite as brilliant as Doctor Seuss (what is?), but a quality first reader nonetheless.
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LibraryThing member conuly
Easy Readers are kinda a pain to deal with. You want to hold your kid's attention naturally (they won't want to read a boring book, and who can blame them?) while teaching them something, and you want them to want to read the book again. Reading a book more than once increases their understanding.
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(Plus, you probably don't have enough cash to buy enough books for your kid to read them each one time only.)

This is a tough sell. Kids don't want to read "books" that are nothing but thinly done excuses for teaching "-at" words, or practicing their first Dolch list. They want to read literature! Not baby books! And you're holding them back! (And then they open up literature and get frustrated. You just can't win.)

Well, forget all that. Elephant and Piggie is your solution.

These books are definitely easy. They have few words, and a lot of repetition of the words they have. (They're told in (very funny) dialog, and for humor one character often repeats another's sentence verbatim. "There is a bird on your head." "There is a bird on my head???")

But they're also FUNNY. I'm a grown-up, I see these jokes telegraphed a mile away, and I still crack up reading them.

And the illustrations! Just enough to help the cautious reader... but not so detailed that the reader can depend entirely on them to tell the story. No, you have to read the words.

These books are wildly funny, and they're educational. Your kid will read them to tatters. What more can you ask?

My favorite part of this book has to be Elephant's utter desolation after the robot incident. Or maybe Piggie's blatant breaking of the fourth wall when she realizes what a doofus her best friend is. Gerald is bemoaning the fact that Piggie was not there to see "A FUNNY FUNNY CLOWN!" (she was, in fact, the clown trying to cheer Gerald up), and the look Piggie gives the reader is utterly priceless. (Maybe I just love how sweet it is that what is making Gerald sad is the fact that his best friend was not there to see these awesome things. It's like The Gift of the Magi, but with more cardboard box robots!)
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LibraryThing member teaperson
Simple words, and a story that a kindergartener or preschooler can relate to. And which I can stand reading over and over without dying of boredom. My kids love it, too.
LibraryThing member katrinafroelich
Using dialogue in bubbles and humorous illustrations of Piggie and Gerald, Willems masterfully captures an authentic exchange between friends. The movement and discovery of characters leaps from the page, and into your heart.
LibraryThing member crashingwaves38
This book is a great book about friends and how they interact. Elephant is sad; when his friend Piggie notices, he decides to do what he can to make Elephant happy. Piggie takes on a series of roles in his efforts. While Elephant's mood brightens a little bit each time, he still remains sad. He
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only truly cheers up when Piggie shows up as himself. He tells Piggie all about the things that he saw (not realizing that Piggie was all those things). Once he finishes the litany, the two friends sit down, content that they are together.

This is a great book that talks about how friends can try to cheer each other up. It even includes a message about how being ourselves is enough, though it's subtle. I really enjoyed reading this to my kids, and we enjoyed finding the pigeon hanging out at the end cover.
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LibraryThing member eatcakes
My other favorite book to read aloud to my kids! These books are so sweet and honest and entertaining! The entire Elephant and Piggie series is adorable. My kids love them and I love for my kids to love them!
LibraryThing member flaguna
This might be considered melancholic characters, antithetical, a couple that say little because they carry a hilarious depression. Both are the incarnation of Ziggy, with the difference that My Friend is Sad is a good edition for early readers with the necessity of accomplishing empathy for the
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children around.
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LibraryThing member dylantanner
Elephant is sad and Pig keeps dressing up to entertain him. What fun is a robot or a cowboy if your best friend isn't there to see it too?

Easy Reader

These books are so great. Mo Willems makes the most simple premise into a well timed emotional punchline. This one for instance just floored me the
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first time I picked it up at Powell's. Who would have seen that coming?

Of course kids love Willems. He speaks their language, and this slightly more emotionally mature take on his whimsical world is perfect for new readers ready for some context.
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LibraryThing member mhackman
A nice read about a good friend who does everything to cheer his sad friend up. But, with a powerful moral lesson that sometimes just the mere presence of a friend is enough.
LibraryThing member justine87
A very cute book that I think young kids who are just learning how to read will enjoy.
LibraryThing member ffox
Cute but slightly insensitive. I really like Mo Willems' Pigeon series so I thought I would like this one. It is clever and has the same sort of simplistic artwork with repetitious wording which make it great for early readers. However, I was very put off by Elephant Gerald's depression. Something
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about it made me wonder if kids who have depression in their lives will relate or be repulsed. Although this may seem to be overreacting the epidemic of depression during the Middle School years causes me to be weary of anything in the primary years that may perpetuate this issue.
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LibraryThing member LDGardner
Gerald is sad, so his best friend, Piggie, tries to cheer him up. Piggie tries all sorts of funny things...He dresses up like a cowboy, a clown, and a robot. He tries really hard, but each time, Gerald is only momentarily happy. When Piggie gives up and approaches Gerald, Gerald is suddenly happy!
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It turns out that he was really only sad because he missed his friend. Not realizing that it was Piggie who dressed up in all the costumes, he recounts to Piggie all that he saw and laments that Piggie was not there to share those moments with him. Piggie tries to explain, but Gerald doesn't stop to listen. He decides that he really just needs his friends around in order to be happy!
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LibraryThing member arwencu
The book is simple and adorable, with a strong story and a good moral: friends matter. I think it would greatly appeal to early readers because the main characters are lively and change costumes and make jokes and most importantly love each other. The art is basic but illustrates the story well.
LibraryThing member YouthGPL
Kearsten says: This book is a great choice for beginning readers. Piggie notices her friend Gerald is sad and decides to try to cheer him up with a variety of costumes. Each time Gerald is momentarily cheered before growing sad again. Why aren't Piggie's attempts successful?

The art consists of
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simple (yet very expressive) line drawings, and the text is all dialogue, making this book a fun read-aloud. My Friend is Sad is a sweet and funny depiction of true friendship.

Definitely recommended! (Check out the other Elephant and Piggie books, too!)
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LibraryThing member Pusparani
The “Elephant and Piggie” and series always makes me laugh. Mo Williems successfully invites early readers to enjoy their first books and encourage them to read more and more books. I chose My Friend is Sad for my collection because this is a great example of children’s feelings, including
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sadness, loneliness, and friendship. Mo Williems portrays friendship as a general theme for Elephant and Piggie series. My Friend is Sad is useful to teach children about emotions. I would suggest teachers to use this series to promote children’s cognitive and language developments. Looking at how Gerald, the elephant, and Piggie make friends and deal with any situations they have, the book provides opportunities for both teacher and children to learn and discuss behaviors. Not only children but also adults need to understand how to accommodate those feelings in themselves. I am happy to find this book.
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LibraryThing member bplma
Gerald the elephant is sad and it's up to Piggie to cheer him up. He pretends to be a cowboy, a clown and a robot, but still Gerald is sad. In the end it seems that all Gerald needed to feel happy again was to be with his best friend, Piggie! Elephant and Piggie--A new series from Willems appealing
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to the very new reader with a quirky sense of humor...
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LibraryThing member jkessluk
This is one of my favorite children books that I have ever come across. The pig see's that his friend, the elephant, is sad and does everything he can to cheer him up by dressing in ridiculous outfits. The elephant does not realize its his friend and stays sad until his friend shows up without a
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costume on.
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LibraryThing member ChelseaRose
Poor, poor Gerald! His love and attachment for Piggie is so cute. This is another one that is fun to read out loud and really exaggerate Gerald's pitiful speech. He wants his friend to come so badly that he doesn't even notice it is his friend who is attempting to cheer him up. Piggie never does
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succeed in telling Gerald that it was him all along. What great friends these two are!
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LibraryThing member eputney87
Summary- Elephant is sad. His friend Pig dresses up in all sorts of costumes to try and make Elephant happy again. It is not until Pig takes off the costumes and realizes Pig is with him that he becomes happy again.

Strength- Comprehensive
So many beginning readers have dull story lines. This early
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reader is full of emotion and has a story that makes you wonder what is going to happen next. It emphasizes that the purpose of reading is to understand. Kids who are reading this book are not just decoding words but reading for meaning and working to understand the story.

Use for Kids- This book could be used during an emotion unit for kids to read independently or in small groups. It is a fun book that kids could practice their fluency on and read over and over too.
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LibraryThing member missbrandysue
Elephant is continuously sad as Piggie keeps trying to make him happy by dressing as his favorite characters: a cowboy, a clown, a robot. But nothing makes Elephant happy until Piggie, himself, comes and asks what's wrong. Then Elephant is happy because he missed his friend. I love the last line
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from Piggie, "You need new glasses." Lol

A great book for the early childhood classroom and humor that I think would reach into early elementary.
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LibraryThing member ymelodie
Piggie is an optimist and Gerald is in a glum mood. This is a great story to show friendship and how friends can help each other
LibraryThing member hcurrey
Another excellent Elephant and Piggie book. Good for a fun read, re-read. Teaches about friends.
LibraryThing member JenJ.
Just flipping through the pages again to decide what I want to write and I'm cracking up at Gerald's utter despair as he slips closer and closer to the ground until he is laid out flat and then his increasing feeling of urgency as he relates to Piggie all the cool things he's seen. I think my
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favorite illustration is of Gerald pretending to be the robot. Anyway, another truly excellent Elephant and Piggie outing with plenty of silliness and sweetness. Don't forget to look for the pigeon on the endpapers!
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LibraryThing member librarybrandy
I liked Today I Will Fly. But this one is just so far superior, for no reason other than the hilariously expressive faces Willems draws on poor Gerald the elephant, who is just melting into despair while Piggy tries desperately to cheer him up.
LibraryThing member capiam1234
Nicely illustrated. Never knew about elephant and piggie books but if they're all similar to this one not sure if we'll read any others. It's a good book but not that great.


Original publication date



054507147X / 9780545071475
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