Mo Willems Saves The Day!

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I overheard a conversation between two four-year-old children today that went like this:

Girl: “Do you know what cancer is?”

Boy: “No.”

Girl: “I think it means you’re sick.”

The exchange has stuck with me all day. Mostly because it’s just so great. These two kids still live in a world where cancer doesn’t exist, except perhaps as some kind of cold or stomach bug. I’ve been wondering how much longer they can stay in their bubble and hoping it’s a good long time.

A much cheerier subject came up in the next class.  A group of 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade students asked, as they do most weeks, if we could read a book by Mo Willems during story time. Like many children their age, they love Mo Willems with a devotion comparable to Red Sox fans during the World Series. I can take any book by Mo Willems off the shelf, and the kids sit quietly, waiting for the story to begin.

We also have the plush versions of Elephant and Piggie in the library, and today was their day to get in on the action. We read three of the books, with two different kids reading the roles of Gerald and Piggie each time. Of course, the “plush versions” were used as props. It was excellent – much better than me reading them. And good reading aloud practice – although, happily, that never crossed the kids’ minds!


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