When Gerald the elephant and Piggie decide to go for a drive, they find that all the planning in the world can’t replace one crucial ingredient.
“Let’s go for a drive!” proposes Gerald; “That sounds fun!” agrees Piggie. “Drive! Drive! Drivey-drive-drive!” they chorus. Gerald, a touch on the OCD side, insists on a plan that includes a number of items: map, sunglasses, umbrellas, bags and, as there will be “a lot of driving on [their] drive,” a car. Oops. Piggie doesn’t have one; “[a] pig with a car would be silly.” Neither does Gerald. Whatever will they do? The dauntless duo’s 18th outing employs Willems’ award-winning formula: color-coded speech bubbles; lots of white space; endearing visual characterization (Gerald’s emotional journey as he realizes the tragedy a-borning is hysterical); effortless phonetic play; thoughtfully designed endpapers; silliness. The pair’s refrain incorporates each new element to Gerald’s plan in a way that is both classically childlike and slyly pedagogical. After “Map! Map! Mappy-map-map!” children will enjoy anticipating how sunglasses, umbrellas and bags will fit into that pattern—and likely start playing with other words as well. Gerald and Piggie’s solution?
Typically elegant and entirely satisfying. Which describes the book as well. (Early reader. 4-8)