My three girls are big fans of Elephant and Piggie books. We’ve been reading them since my oldest was 4, and she’s a third grader now. Over the years, we have amassed quite a collection of Elephant and Piggie books, and we are always excited when a new one comes out.

I Really Like Slop! begins with Piggie arriving with a big bowl of slop. She is very excited about her slop. She really wants Gerald to try the slop, but Gerald is hesitant because of the slop’s appearance and smell. Will Gerald try the slop? Will he like it?

The illustrations are fairly Spartan. Gerald and Piggie appear against a plain white background. There is an emphasis on body language and facial expressions, so you can always tell how a character feels. Much of the comic relief in the story revolves around Gerald and Piggie’s reactions to the slop. I’m not sure what is in the slop, but it sure is potent!

There is also an important lesson to be learned about trying new things. Many children are cautious about trying new things; I know that mine certainly are! I won’t say whether or not Gerald likes the slop, but he is very gracious about the entire experience.

As with the other Elephant and Piggie stories, author Mo Willems uses simple language to tell the story. Gerald and Piggie communicate via voice bubbles, and the back-and-forth dialogue is surprisingly witty, considering that the vocabulary is limited. One of my daughters’ favorite things to do is to take turns reading Gerald and Piggie’s lines.

I would absolutely recommend I Really Like Slop! The best part about the series is that they are all standalone titles, so you can start reading any of them. This is my favorite series of beginning reader books. Don’t forget to look for the Pigeon (another Willems creation) at the back of the book!

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