Elephants Cannot Dance!

Citation: Willems, M. (2009). Elephants Cannot Elephants Cannot DanceDance! New York: Hyperion Books for Children.

Ages: 4 – 9

Grades: PreK – 2

Description:  In Elephants Cannot Dance! Piggie tries to teach Gerald how to dance.  Gerald is convinced that Elephants cannot dance, while Piggie is not. Gerald eventually tries to dance, and ends up doing the opposite of what Piggie instructs.

Uses:  Elephants Cannot Dance! is one of Willems’ Elephant and Piggie books that are ideal for beginning readers.  The book features Willems’ characteristic sparse images and text bubbles to tell the story.  Because the story is told through Elephant and Piggie speaking to each other, it is not the best choice for a traditional read-aloud during storytime. However, the plot would lend itself well to a storytime puppet show. Librarians and teachers can act out the story, and then invite children to dance. Librarians can even use the elephant prop as a way to engage students: librarians can instruct children to show elephant their best dance moves, or to teach elephant how to dance.  The book is also ideal for display because of the familiarity of Willems’ works. Familiarity with Willems’ works and style of writing will lead parents and children to be more comfortable checking out the work, and reading the get moving message.

Review Sources:

Elephants Cannot Dance!. (2009). Publishers Weekly, 256(20), 55.

Smith, R.L. (2009). Elephants Cannot Dance!. Horn Book Magazine, 85(4), 433 – 434.

Search Terms: elephants, pigs, dance

Peaceful Piggy Meditation

Citation: Maclean, K. L. (2004). Peaceful Piggy Meditation (1 edition.). Morton Grove, Ill: Albert Whitman & Company.Peaceful Piggy Meditation

Ages: 4-9; teens and adults who are differently abled – with adjustments.

Grades: PreK – Grade 3

Description:  Peaceful Piggy Meditation is Maclean’s straightforward lesson to young children about the benefits of meditation for their emotional, mental, and physical well-being.  Maclean begins her book by stating that life can be stressful; then lists many of the variables that may cause young children stress.  She teaches children that meditation can help them cope with stress, as well as other health benefits.  Maclean includes endnotes about individual and family meditation.

Uses:  Peaceful Piggy Meditation can be used for a child or family storytime program.  The bright images and storyline make for a story where librarians and teachers can heavily interact with the audience.  With older children, librarians can read the story, and ask children to add things that stress them out. Librarians can also lead a discussion of how people handle stress. Then, the librarian can lead students through some of the meditation techniques. Maclean’s emphasis on family events causing stress, and family meditation make this an ideal text to use during a family storytime program.

Review Sources:

Loch-Wouters, M., Jones, T. E., Toth, L., Charnizon, M., Grabarek, D., & Larkins, J. (2004). Peaceful Piggy Meditation (Book). School Library Journal, 50(11): 112.

Peaceful Piggy Meditation (Book). (2004). Publisher’s Weekly, 251(45), 55.

Mattson, J. (2004). Peaceful Piggy Meditation (Book). Booklist, 101(4), 411.

Tags: meditation, animals, pigs, emotional support, differently-abled

Peaceful Piggy Yoga

Title:MacLean, Kerr.  (2008). Peaceful Piggy Yoga. Morton Grove, Ill: Albert Whitman & Company. Peaceful Piggy Yoga

Ages: 0-8

Grade Level: 1-2

Description:  Peaceful Piggy Yoga is a brightly illustrated guide to yoga for children. The book includes step by step instructions on how to do each pose, as well as images to demonstrate.

Use: Peaceful Piggy Yoga can be used to provide children with an introduction to basic yoga poses.  It is ideal for small group family storytimes, where librarians can interact directly with children and caregivers. Caregivers can participate in the poses, and also help to make sure their child does the pose properly and safely

Review Sources:  none. 

Tags: Yoga for children, hatha yoga, pigs, family storytime