It’s amazing how few words can be used to tell a story. In Mo Willems’ I Love My New Toy!, Piggie’s friend Elephant accidentally breaks his new toy. The resulting anger and sorrow is humourously realistic to the reader, especially when squirrel comes along and enlightens the two on how the toy really works. In the end, friends are more fun than toys. This book, and the whole series, stands up to the beginning reader’s need for repeated readings.
Use this book to talk about emotions, using the illustrations as guide. What do people do when they get angry? How does it make those around them feel? Ask children to make up their own dialogue for the pictures.