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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Elephants Cannot Dance (Picture Book)

Released June 2009

Reviewed by Bob Walch

Gerald and Piggy take center stage again in this picture book for new readers. Piggy is determined to teach Gerald the finer points of dance but the bespectacled elephant apprises her of a simple fact - Elephants cannot dance!

Determined to teach her friend to shake a leg, Piggie at least gets Gerald to "try" to learn a few simple moves. What happens next is the subject of this delightful picture book. Suffice it to say that eventually the elephant's volunteer dance teacher shouts, "ENOUGH!" Have the two decided to toss in the towel? Was Gerald right? Must Piggie submit to an ignominious defeat?

Well, sort of. It appears all is lost until two squirrels pop up with a very unexpected request that changes the entire outcome of this humorous story. Obviously I have no intention of ruining the ending, but be prepared for one of Mo Willems' deliciously offbeat surprises.

With the simple dialogue, large type and key word repetition, your beginning reader will be able to take over the reading aloud chores in no time at all. And that may be the biggest and nicest SURPRISE of all!

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