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Animal Character, Early/Young Readers, Easy Reader, Humor, Read-Aloud Suggestions, Teacher & Parent Recommendations

HAROLD & HOG PRETEND FOR REAL by Dan Santat

Harold & Hog Pretend For Real is a new addition to the  Elephant & Piggie Love to Read Books Easy Reader series spun off from Mo Willems’ popular (and brilliant)  Elephant & Piggie books.

Hog and Harold are best friends and they love reading about Elephant and Piggie and their adventures in books. They decide to pretend to BE Elephant and Piggie. Hog puts a pig snout on his face (to be like Piggie) and Harold dons a pair of glasses (to imitate Gerald, the Elephant). As they begin their game of pretend they realize that Harold is not careful enough to be Gerald and Hog is not carefree enough to be Piggie. Hog and Harold are despondent until they realize that Hog can pretend to be Gerald and Harold can pretend to be Piggie! They exchange pig snout for glasses and joyfully commence their pretending game!

An added bonus is when Harold (as Piggie) & Hog (as Gerald) encounter a bird wearing a Pigeon costume (the main character from Willems’ The Pigeon Wants To Drive the Bus). They invite him to join their game, promising he can “drive the bus” if he pretends with them!

The story concludes with the ‘real’ Elephant & Piggie as they finish reading the story and dash off to pretend to be Harold & Hog.

I love the way the delight of the characters and their story spill over the pages and into the reader, pulling you firmly into the story.  Harold & Hog Pretend For Real is a joyful celebration of reading, imaginative play and friendship!. I love that Mo Willems allows the characters to speak about their love of and fascination with books and reading directly to their young readers.

If you enjoy this one I highly recommend all the Elephant & Piggie books–especially We Are In A Book!

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