Three silly birds with the same wacky sense of the absurd as Elephant and Piggie are likely to be a hit with Mo Willems fans.
Just about 50 words are used repeatedly to make a clever story about nothing. A button (the kind that’s pressed, not the kind that holds up pants) has no apparent purpose, but the birds are excited: “Wowee!” Even though the yellow bird is convinced it does nothing, it’s still excited. The round red bird proudly points out that the button is red. Then the blue bird presses the button and is surprised at how easy it is to do that, refuting the yellow bird’s assertion that the button does nothing: “A surprise is NOT nothing.” The red bird takes a turn pressing the button, but he is not surprised; he is sad. But sadness is not nothing either. Still the yellow bird insists that the button does nothing and cannot make anyone feel anything. Pressing on through a full range of emotions, the birds argue passionately. The logic of the yellow bird’s argument is spot-on for the second- and third-graders who will flock to this easy reader. That Elephant and Piggie introduce the story and return for an epilogue almost guarantees its popularity.
Here’s hoping Harper will oblige with more stories starring these birds. (Early reader. 6-8)