We Are in a Book!

We Are in a Book! (an Elephant and Piggie book) by Mo Willems is set to be released on September 14th, and it is bound to be one of Willems' most interactive books to date. And that is saying something! Willems has had a number of books that are highly participatory for the reader. In a post awhile back, I talk about how Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus has a big appeal for kids because it engages the reader in a subversive way . . . through the role reversal it stages. Kids actually yell "NO!" at the pigeon in the book when it is read aloud and in so doing take an atypical authoritative role. Big Frog Can't Fit In: a pop up book is another testament to Willems ability to engage the reader in an interactive way. Big Frog literally can not fit in the book. The problem engages adult and child readers alike. In the upcoming book about Gerald the elephant and Piggie:

When Piggie discovers that she and Gerald are in a book and she can make the reader say a funny word out loud, Gerald is tickled pink. But then Gerald realizes that the book is going to end soon--ack! What will happen then? Gerald just wants to be read!! As always, level-headed Piggie has an idea: she will ask the reader to start the book again.
Using vocabulary perfect for beginning readers, Mo Willems has crafted a mind-bending Elephant & Piggie story that is more interactive than ever.


It will be interesting to see how young readers react to this new level of interaction. I think (especially seeing as these books are so popular) that such interactive books will become more and more common. No doubt evolving technology will play a still greater role in the coming years. For instance, I look forward to Tony DiTerlizzi's The Search for WondLa, which will incorporate augmented reality. Naturally, as I believe Lane Smith's It's a Book! will attest to, there is no replacing the physical book. Yet, the possibilities for an expanded market that allows for new levels of creativity sure is exciting. I hope to get an ipad in the not too distant future and get a taste for some of the possibilities. :)