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A Big Guy Took My Ball! by Mo Willems
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Comments for A Big Guy Took My Ball!

A Big Guy Took My Ball!: 03/14/15

cover art

A Big Guy Took My Ball! by Mo Willems is the nineteenth Elephant and Piggie book. Piggie has a ball she wants to use to play with Gerald, except now she can't. A "big guy" (bully) has taken it from her!

The draw for me and my children has been the humor and the emphasis on situational humor. If there's a prop, it's used in a nonsensical way until the internal logic of the story is finally revealed.

Here, though, the humor seems to be set aside for a very special episode. Piggie, gasp, has a run in with a, gasp, bully. And the only thing to do is get Gerald, who is bigger than she is, to fix things.

Oh there are so many squicky things with this. First of all, it puts Piggie into the damsel in distress role, something she has never-ever been in before and hopefully will never-ever be in again. Second, it makes Gerald, who is a complete pacifist, into someone potentially frightening.

Now of course, the bully doesn't end up being a bully, just a whale on the playground. But that in turn brings up the fat person as bully or villain stereotype. Why? Bullies come in all sizes and big kids are bullied for their size too.

Ugh. I want a re-do on this book.

Two stars

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