About the Holiday
In 1965 an international gathering in Hawaii established World Gratitude Day as a time for people everywhere to formally appreciate and give thanks for all the wonderful things in the world. In 1966 the attendees celebrated World Gratitude Day on this date in their individual countries, beginning a tradition that has grown over time. The benefits of positive thinking have become well documented. The founders of Gratitude Day also recognized that by taking a day to celebrate the amazing parts of our lives we might become happier, more content people.
The Thank You Book: An Elephant & Piggie Book
By Mo Willems
Piggie and Gerald are relaxing together when Piggie thinks “I am one lucky pig. I have a lot to be thankful for….” Then it dawns on her that she “had better get thanking!” With resolve she vows to thank every important person in her life. Gerald doesn’t believe Piggie will be able to do this and is sure she will forget someone—even someone important. But piggie is determined, emphasizing, “I. Will. Thank. EVERYONE” and she trots off on her “Thank-o-rama” while Gerald stands by in awe.
First Piggie encounters her squirrel friends and thanks them for their great ideas, next Piggie gives Snake a big hug for playing ball with her. The Pigeon is thanked for “never giving up,” and Piggie even apologizes for The Pigeon’s never being in their books, although the sly Pigeon knows better. Piggie whistles and dances away to continue her mission, while Gerald reiterates that she will forget someone.
Piggie comes upon Mouse, Birdies, Rhino, Hippo’s Big Sister, Barky Dog, Pelican, Bear, Hippo and Worms, and thanks them all for “being great friends.” Doing a cartwheel, Piggie says, “See that, Gerald? I am a thanking machine!” But Gerald is miffed because Piggie has forgotten someone important, and he gives Piggie a big smile. Piggie seems to get the hint and promises that her next thank you will be a big one. And it is! Piggie yells up at Whale, “Thanks, Whale! You are nice!”
Ice Cream Penguin receives gratitude for the ice cream, and Doctor Cat is thanked for “being a great doctor” while Gerald tags along behind. Piggie meets Brian Bat and thanks him for sharing drawing time. By now Gerald is getting a bit steamed, and tries to attract Piggie’s attention quietly and then with a shout—“PIGGIE!”—that sends Piggie reeling. “You are forgetting someone,” Gerald reminds her, looking her straight in the eye. “Someone VERY important.”
Finally Piggie understands. She gazes at Gerald wide-eyed and says, “Now I know who you are talking about.” Gerald smiles, but his happiness is short-lived as Piggie thanks the flies for cooking with her. Gerald can’t take it anymore. Waving his arms he shouts, “NOT THE FLIES, PIGGIE! But Piggie gives it right back—waving arms and all: “I CANNOT THINK OF ANYONE ELSE I HAVE FORGOTTEN TO THANK, GERALD!”
Gerald displays an “it’s obvious” pose and finally Piggie does understand. She is shocked and contrite. “Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Elephant Gerald!” Piggie gushes, holding Gerald’s hands. With a hug Piggie continues, “You are the best friend a pig could ever have!” Gerald accepts Piggie’s thanks, but reveals that he did not think Piggie had forgotten him. Piggie is so confused! She explodes: “WHO DID I FORGET TO THANK!?!”
“Our reader.” Gerald says “You forgot to thank our reader.” Poor Piggie is so embarrassed. “You are right!” she says. Piggie looks straight out from the page and with sincerity says, “Thank you for being our reader!” Gerald joins her to say, “We could not be ‘us’ without you,” and Piggie agrees: “You are the best!” The two friends congratulate each other on their thanking and return to relaxing together. “Yep,” Piggie thinks once more. “I am one lucky pig.”
With this 25th Elephant and Piggie Book, Mo Willems brings his award-winning early-reader series to an end in an emotional tribute to all of the duo’s friends and their readers. In The Thank You Book Gerald and Piggie’s special relationship, born of humor, conflict, misunderstandings—and ultimately understanding, is on full display. The evocative illustrations reveal Gerald’s growing discontent and consternation while the dialogue, displayed in speech bubbles and with varying type sizes, expresses the changing dynamics of the story.
While regular readers of the Elephant and Piggie books will be sad to say goodbye to new stories, Willems has left them with many wonderful memories and adventures to return to again and again. New readers will be—like Piggie—very lucky to discover these two friends and develop their own relationship with this unique pair.
Ages 3 – 7
Disney-Hyperion, 2016 | ISBN 978-1423178286
Find books, games, activities, and lots more on Mo Willem‘s website and play along with Pigeon and the gang on Pigeon Presents!
Do you want to know what’s up next for Gerald and Piggie? Head over to Mom’s Radius: life. love. books. and find out! You’ll also discover a whole bookcase-worth of books you’ll want to read!
World Thank You Day Activity
What Are You Thankful For? Poster
Write all of the amazing things in your life that make you happy on this colorful, printable What Are You Thankful For? Template! Then display it in your room or locker to make you smile or remind you to thank everyone who is important to you!
Picture Book Review
We love Elephant & Piggie. I somehow missed this book when it came out, but I almost cried when Mo Willems mentioned at BEA that Elephant & Piggie were retired.
Then I heard about his new endeavor, Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! and I was very excited. I reviewed the first two books in the series on my blog last weekend. I loved them! And I included some comments from Mo and the authors in my post.
Hi Kate! Thanks for the update on what’s up next for Gerald and Piggie! What a clever idea to expand the series! I can’t wait to read these first books and I’m looking forward to many more!