Let’s Go for a Drive! by Mo Willems tells the story of Gerald the elephant and Piggie as they plan a drive. Elephant keeps thinking of everything they need–a map, sunglasses, umbrellas, bags–for a drive and Piggie has all the items they need until… they realize they don’t have a car! What ever are they doing to do now? Once again, Piggie has the solution: they will play pirates!
The book is considered an early reader/early concept book though it definitely geared toward the upper end of that. However, both children not reading on their own and very proficient readers will enjoy this book. It does teach many concepts, like planning for a trip. Children will most likely not realize what goes into planning a drive and can beginning learning to plan for a day out. Additionally, all the things they need for a trip help teach concepts about sunshine, rain, and making a plan. The sentences are rather short and illustrations are adorable with muted colors and lots of white spaces.
The words themselves are very catchy as part of it is made into a song. After each item is retrieved. Gerald and Piggie sing “Drive! Drive! Drivey-drive-drive! and then the item they got in the same pattern like “Umbrellas! Umbrellas! Umbrelly-umbrellas!” Having a pattern and tone of the words that begs to be sung, helps learning readers to recognize the words and letters. Even those who are not independent readers yet would benefit from this book to help with pattern recognition and aid in helping to learn letters and words.
Beyond any educational benefit, the book is simply adorable. Elephants reactions when he thinks of another item they need are exaggerated and perfect for little ones. And ultimately, the lesson of the book is not that things need to planned. The lesson is that anything, even ruined plans, can be the best of fun as long your best pal is with you. With a little imagination, you can go anywhere.
The book is recommended for preschoolers to grade two.
Theodor Seuss Geisel Award, 2013 Honor Book United States
Any other book in the Elephant and Piggie series
Cat, Cat, Who is that? by Mo Willems
Rabbit and Robot: The Sleepover by Cece Bell
Up, Tall, and High (but necessarily in that order) by Ethan Long
Willems, Mo. Let’s Go for a Drive! New York: Hyperion for Children, 2012. Print.