Jan 10, 2013

Can I Play Too?

Can I Play Too? (CAN, JP, US, INT)

Written and Illustrated by: Mo Willems

Published by: Disney Book Group

Published on: June 8, 2010

Ages: 2+

Happy Year of the Snake! Japan uses the Chinese zodiac as well, although our new year starts on Jan. 1, not at the lunar new year, which begins later in the year (February 10 this year!). Mostly that just means putting cute animals on our New Year's cards though!

I love seasonal reads, and this one, though offbeat, fits the bill. A snake joins best friends Elephant and Piggie in this edition of their adventures.

The Elephant and Piggie series is one of the best early reader series out there. Like all the others in the series, Can I Play Too? is funny, engaging, and shows realistic dilemmas and friendships. It works as both a read-aloud for younger kids and as a first reader for kindergarten and early elementary students.

Elephant and Piggie are playing when they meet a snake, who wants to join them. But it can be hard to play with a snake, not because Willems' adorable version is poisonous or prone to asphyxiation of others, but because snakes don't have hands!

But that won't stop this pair of friends, they brainstorm and come up with a way to play with their new friend.

My son read it to us kindly and enjoyed reading it as much as we enjoyed having it read to us. This is definitely a great early reader!


  1. This is one of my fave Elephant and Piggie books! I love how realistically Willems depicts very young children dealing with someone who is "different." I saw this when I worked with a group of preschoolers that included a little girl who was born with no fingers on one hand. When they first met, the kids would ask very direct questions - why don't you have fingers? How do you hold things? and they all wanted to touch her hand, then everyone moved on and they just expected her to join in with their games. She totally could btw - could even tie her own shoes without help, which most of the other four year olds hadn't mastered yet!

  2. Hey there! I saw your comment on my post about the salary racism in Saudi-Arabia and noticed you had mentioned someone spamming links to my blog to you? Can you tell me which account was doing this? I wonder if they still do it and why on earth would someone do such a thing!?

    Interesting blog btw, I wish we had proper children books available here..I bring most of mine from Finland.

    take care,

    1. Hi Layla!

      I'm sorry, I can't find the account that did it, but it was very strange, someone trying (unsuccessfully) to prove that it was okay for a Canadian minister to lie about Canadians abroad. It was nice to find your blog though!

      Maybe someday you will get Amazon in Saudi Arabia? As much as I normally prefer indie bookstores, Amazon is amazing for expats like me!

  3. This is the series I recommend to parents of early readers at my school library.

  4. I love the extra effort they go to to include snake. They don't simply say yeah, you can play with us and then ignore the fact he physically can't. How sweet.

  5. Great comments! I love that first anecdote! Mo Willems has got it all. I just have to read them all!


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