Friday, October 30, 2009

Pigs Make Me Sneeze by Mo Willems

Gerald has been known to panic. Okay, maybe panic is a bit strong, but he does jump to conclusions now and again. In Mo Willems’ tenth Elephant and Piggie book, Pigs Make Me Sneeze, Gerald holds true to form.

When Piggie arrives and asks innocently, “Gerald! What do you want to do today?” he receives a confusing response.

Gerald: “I want– aaa”
Piggie: “Yes?”
Gerald: “aaaa”
Piggie: “A what?”
Gerald: “aaaaa!!”
Piggie: “A ball? A swim? A hat?”
Gerald: “CHOOOO!!!”

Can you see the conclusion Gerald is about to draw? Piggie arrived. Gerald sneezed (and sneezed again … and again). Therefore Piggie must be the cause of the sneezes. And if pigs do make Gerald sneeze, then it can only mean one thing.

The end of a friendship.

As Gerald leaves his best friend’s presence – forever – he passes Doctor Cat who inquires about Gerald’s melancholy. Gerald explains everything, from Piggie, to his sneezes, to the end of a friendship due to self-diagnosed porcine allergies. As Gerald continues sneezing around Doctor Cat, the physician analyzes the situation and draws a completely different conclusion.

Gerald is thrilled with his diagnosis and rushes back to tell Piggie. The final scene is reminiscent of the conclusion of There is a Bird On Your Head, but is no less satisfying for readers. Pigs Make Me Sneeze is another soon-to-be classic and welcome addition to the Elephant and Piggie series from Mo Willems.

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