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There is a Bird on Your Head! (An Elephant and Piggie Book) Hardcover – Sep 1 2007

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion; 1 edition (Sept. 1 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1423106865
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423106869
  • Product Dimensions: 17.1 x 1.1 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #40,195 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


From easy reader and chapter book series to epic fantasies, favorite characters, settings and story lines reemerge in new additions. Young readers will welcome the return of Mo Willems's pessimistic pachyderm and spirited pig. In There Is a Bird on Your Head! Gerald the elephant despairs over a family of birds that nests atop his cranium, while Piggie is delighted. And in I Am Invited to a Party! party expert Gerald helps Piggie prepare for all possibilities, as they get dressed for a fancy party, pool party and costume party-all at the same time.—PW

It helps to have a best friend when you run into trouble, whether it's the what-to-wear-to-a-party kind or the wildlife-on-your-head variety. Like the first two entries in this beginning reader series (My Friend Is Sad and Today I Will Fly!, rev. 5/07), each of these books features a simple story told entirely through speech balloons and Willems's emotive pig and elephant characters. The animated illustrations will help new readers decode tone and meaning while the spare dialogue enhances the pictures' slapstick humor. High-spirited Piggie has never been to a party; when she receives her first invitation, neurotic Gerald takes charge of their attire. "I know parties," he claims, but Piggie and young readers may have doubts about that when Gerald insists they dress for "a fancy pool costume party." In the end, Gerald proves to be savvier than he and Piggie look. In the second book, two "love birds" make a nest on Gerald's head. Cause enough for panic, but when their three eggs hatch (in record gestation time), hysteria ensues. Luckily, Piggie has a good head on her shoulders. The minimalism of both the text and the uncluttered pictures focuses readers' attention and moves the stories forward. Party on, Elephant & Piggie!—Horn Book

Beginning readers familiar with Willems's books will recognize his distinctive humor and illustrative style in these stories. When Piggie receives her first invitation to a party, she asks Gerald to join her and relies on his advice because he "knows" parties in order to prepare for the big event. The elephant, however, has a tendency to overanalyze, so he prepares them both for any contingency a fancy/pool/costume party. Piggie's expressive features show her questions about their attire, but the friends set off bedecked in flippers, masks, top hat, pearl earrings, cowboy hat, and evening dress. Imagine her surprise when they find all the other guests as lavishly overdressed as they are. In the second title, Gerald learns that there are worse things than a bird on your head, namely, two love birds, a nest, and three hatchlings. With the help of Piggie, he is finally able to ask them to move, but, as the final page reveals, they have become her problem. Both books use speech bubbles gray ones for Gerald, pink for Piggie to tell the entire story. This feature is a nice touch that facilitates paired/choral readings. The conversation between the friends flows smoothly and allows beginning readers to practice expression as they read. These appealing titles will tickle the funny bones of children and are sure to become favorites.—SLJ

About the Author

Mo Willems is the author of groundbreaking picture books, including; Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale (Caldecott Honor winner 2004); Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (Caldecott Honor winner 2003); Don't Let the Pigeon Stay up Late!; The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog!; Time to Say "Please"!; Leonardo, the Terrible Monster; Edwina, the Dinosaur Who Didn't Know She Was Extinct. He also wrote Today I will Fly! and My Friend Is Sad, the first books in this series.
In his previous life, Mo was a six-time Emmy Award winning writer and animator for Sesame Street and the creator of Cartoon Network's Sheep in the Big City. He lives with his family in Brooklyn, New York.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bonnie Ferrante on June 27 2014
Format: Hardcover
It is very difficult to find an early reading book that can hold a child’s interest. Mo Willems rivals Dr. Suess in a charming sense of fun. His book does not rhyme, but instead has a single sentence, sometimes a single word, on each page. The vocabulary could be handled by children in early first grade. It is a large book, at 57 pages, but a quick read.

It is the story of an elephant to has an unwanted bird, which expands to be two birds and a nest, on his head. The birds, elephant, and pig are simply drawn but the consternation of the elephant comes across clearly.

The book is laugh out loud funny. There are several moments where children will pause to enjoy the humor. The ending is satisfying and silly. Children will enjoy reading and rereading this book.

This book would be a cute Easter gift or springtime present for the beginning reader.

Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Lilley on Nov. 6 2011
Format: Hardcover
My 4 year old and 7 year old love this book and want to read it again and again. One of my favorites of the series.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 174 reviews
40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
Fun to read! Sept. 1 2007
By M. Noll - Published on
Format: Hardcover
There Is a Bird On Your Head! is my son's favorite of the Elephant and Piggie books! This whole series is great fun... my son loves the expressions on the faces of both characters. And, more importantly, HE wants to do the reading at bedtime because he has fun trying to match his reading to the expressions from the faces. And, we love looking for Pigeon on the back covers! I wish there were more of these books!
44 of 50 people found the following review helpful
A Winner for My Avid Read Constantly (Just Not Books) Son Oct. 4 2007
By Julie Jordan Scott - Published on
Format: Hardcover
My little boy reads everything with words on it... except, ofcourse, for books. He usually yells at me when I have the audacity to suggest we sit down and cuddle and read but this book was different.

It was my first time reading anything by Mo Willems so I had no preconceived notions. What I found was very funny text on clean, simply illustrated pages without too many words on each page. YES!

My six-year-old son has been reading (self taught) since he was four, but normally there is too much stuff going on in books with lots of detailed, color spread pages. This title had the perfect balance of white space without too many words and an enjoyable story that didn't talk down to a child who favors this style of book.

I have never had him sit there and read through a whole book for me. He read this entire book and would have read it again. It felt like a miracle.

Perhaps it was.

Mo Willems, you have my heart. Sam and I will read more of your books!
31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Great book for new readers !!! Nov. 29 2007
By liz b. - Published on
Format: Hardcover
My first grader (who's been struggling with reading in general and lacking motivation) just read this book aloud to me and her little brother at bedtime and they were both laughing hysterically at the end. We'd taken the 4 books in this series out of the library, and when I suggested it was time for bed she literally begged me to read the other 3 RIGHT NOW, which we did.
Few things make a parent prouder than hearing your child learn to read, except maybe when they finally get excited about it!
We are all now Mo Willems fans!
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
unexpected great moment Feb. 22 2008
By Jacqlyn Cyr - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I happen to be waiting for exrays for my elderly mother and I happened to pick up this book and decided to make time pass quickly,so I began to read aloud to my mother (84yrs. old). Well, we both laughed wholeheartedly with each turn of the page. Even bystanders enjoyed it. So young or old, Mo touches the child in all of us.The humor was simple and well illustrated.I wish I had grandchildren to read to but I am sure going to get the entire collection, just in case, and in the meantime I will read to my favorite audience, Mom. Thanks for the moment!
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Mo Willems should be declared a National Treasure! Sept. 18 2008
By Philip G. Traynor - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Mo Willems is a genius. These books work like a classic Warner Brothers cartoon; working on two levels simultaneously. There's simple sight-gag humor for the kids; and sly, subtle humor for the grownups. The sparse but extremely expressive artwork is a joy to behold and study. My 4 year old daughter encounterd this book in a library while on vacation this summer. We all find the book and all the others in the series to be excruciatingly funny! We read the books aloud; I play Gerald, and my daughter plays Piggie. (I also do any other minor characters) We read the dialogue in a huge, over-the-top, melodramatic fashion, doing our best Mel Blanc/Daws Butler impressions, and act out the physical bits where we can... She just dissolves into fits of hysterical laughter... We have all of the Piggie books now, and several of the "Pigeon" series too. I cannot recommend the works of Mo Willems highly enough!