Bully Me Not! A Big Guy Took My Ball! by Mo Willems
"GERALD! said Piggie.
I FOUND A BALL AND IT WAS SO FUN!
AND A BIG GUY CAME
AND... AND... AND...
HE TOOK MY BALL!"
The emotional Piggie has a problem, and, as usual she takes it to her friend Gerald the Elephant.
And then it becomes Gerald's problem, too.
Gerald may be a born worrier, but he IS a big guy. After all, he is an elephant and the biggest guy on the playground. Piggie is sure that Gerald can get the ball back from the big bully who took it from her.
Gerald immediately goes into instant righteous avenger mode.
WHAT MAKES THOSE BIG GUYS THINK THEY ARE SO BIG?" Gerald says.
"THEIR SIZE?" squeaks Piggie.
Manfully he sets out to right the wrong, whatever it is, following Piggie to the scene of the crime. But when they find the alleged thief, holding the ball in question, Gerald comes to a halt, gulps, and backs up a few steps.
Piggie's "Big Guy" is really, really a BIGGY. Way bigger than GERALD!
He is a BLUE WHALE.
Mo Willems' latest Elephant and Piggie easy reader, A Big Guy Took My Ball! (Elephant and Piggie Book, An) (Hyperion, 2013), finds Gerald the Elephant confronting a downright anxiety-provoking situation. Gerald is not big enough to confront this big guy physically. It's going to take brains, not brawn, Gerald thinks. This is one Piggie problem in which discretion is indeed the better part of valor. And when Gerald tentatively questions the big guy, he learns the truth. It IS his ball, and Big Guy confesses he's just looking for someone brave enough to play ball with him.
"WELL, I AM BIG." he admits.
"SO BIG NO ONE WILL PLAY WITH ME.
LITTLE GUYS HAVE ALL THE FUN."
Mo Willems' award-winning beginner books, the Elephant and Piggie series, use Willems' remarkable comic illustrative style and unrivaled insight into the relationship problems of early childhood to make every one of his Elephant and Piggie books an irresistible must-have for emergent readers. Willems uses speech balloons to tell the entire tale, and as always the body language and facial expressions of his characters tell most of the story in emotional language that any child can "read." As Kirkus Reviews puts it, "This morality play in false assumptions and relativity unfurls with Willems' customary command of visual pacing; gags are spaced just right to keep the pages turning and readers giggling." Way to go, Mo!