When long-suffering Piggie tells his friend Gerald, “I am going,” readers of the previous ten books in the series might well think: it’s about time. After all, Gerald is a pretty high-maintenance friend, no matter how strong the bonds between the two might be.
Here Gerald, completely in character, protests too much at Piggie’s departure-for the next forty pages, twenty-six conversation balloons, and forty unique words. “You cannot go! You must not go! I WILL NOT LET YOU GO!!!”
Yes, there’s lots of repetition, giving youngsters plenty of practice with sight words (such as you, not, and will) along with pictures providing much context for less common, but phonetically regular, vocabulary (such as ping-pong or silly).
As it turns out, and probably to no one’s surprise, Piggie is only going for lunch, and the two happily picnic together. “This is a good day,” concludes Gerald. It’s a good day as well for beginning readers who want to make new friends or simply catch up on the antics of a couple of old ones.