Review posted June 9, 2016.
Hyperion Books for Children, New York, 2015. 57 pages.
Here’s Mo Willems’ answer to Green Eggs and Ham!
Gerald, an elephant, and Piggie are best friends. But Piggie likes food that appeals to pigs.
In this book, Piggie dons a chef’s hat and has created a bowl of green Slop with flies buzzing around it. She really likes slop, and asks her best friend to try some. “The flies are how you know it is ripe!”
Even with the simple cartoons that characterize Mo Willems’ drawings, there’s all kinds of physical humor here. Facial expressions show a wide range of interest and disgust. And once Gerald tries slop? His body turns various different colors and patterns.
But this is not Green Eggs and Ham. The reader is pretty sure from Gerald’s reactions that slop tastes terrible.
When Piggie asks him if he really likes slop, Gerald answers:
I do not really like slop.
But, I am glad I tried it.
Because I really like you.
There’s a punchline follow up to that when Piggie has a suggestion for dessert.
I can’t think of another combination of Friendship Story and Trying-New-Foods Story (though there may well be one. If you can think of one, tell me in the comments). After all, Sam-I-Am isn’t really much of a friend!
Kids will love the humor in this story. Parents will have another chance to give the “It’s good to try new foods” message, along with an acknowledgment that sometimes the new food tastes like slop.