I’m getting into the whole Elephant and Piggie series (or E&P as fans would put it), so today I’m featuring another one for our bimonthly theme.
Last week, Piggie had a new toy, this time around, Gerald has a ball that he can throw very far. From this particular book, Mo Willems presents Piggie and Gerald as two very different individuals. Gerald gives an air of an adult in how exacting he is, saying things like “Do you know the secret to throwing a ball? Throwing this ball is not easy! It takes skill. It takes practice…I worked very hard to learn how to throw a ball.” While I totally agree with Gerald in the value of skill and practice, I think the point of this book is the spirit of fun.
When I think of fun, I recall the most recent film I’ve seen, The Rise of the Guardians wherein Jack Frost had to search his core, only to discover that it was “fun.” While reading this book, I felt it echoed that value. And by fun I mean that incredible happiness coming from doing something just because it made you happy. It’s that running-so-fast-chasing-each-other sort of fun. I don’t think children and adults have the same definition of fun, but Piggie succinctly points it out when he throws the ball and he does so ‘wrongly.’ He is exhilarated at his brilliant throw, but his exhilaration is cut short by Gerald’s statement of fact. What I love about this book is how Piggie takes it all in stride and just points out the fun of it.
The perfectionist in me would probably sigh at the wrongness of Piggie’s throw, but what I love about this book is its celebration of fun. Fun doesn’t have to be perfect. Fun is about just going at it and enjoying the process no matter the outcome. Throwing a ball shouldn’t be always about skill and practice. Fun has its value. As much as I’m a perfectionist I also like to break into silly and just laugh. I love laughing until tears come out of my eyes and I know I had fun.
Fun I think is something all children need to experience and this book is a lovely thing to share for kids who don’t really quite know how to have fun. And yes, there are such kids – my work as a developmental psychologist has allowed me to meet them. Adults sometimes forget the value of real fun where the simplest of things like throwing a ball can make us just wonderfully excited and exhilarated.
Watch Me Throw the Ball is another work of perfection from Mo Willems. If you aren’t hooked yet with the E&P series, better start now…its worth it.
Read-A-Latte Challenge: 10 of 150
Read 2 books in a Series