For the second year in a row, I Will Surprise My Friend! tops the list as the most circulated children's book in 2019. It has become a favorite among our young readers and their families because while the book has a comedic flow, it's also educational. A pair of best friends, Gerald and Piggie, are trying to play a game, but there are surprises along the way.
It's not just this one book though. Mo Willems claimed nine of the 10 titles on the list. The author and illustrator is best known for Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus as well as the Elephant and Piggie series. Willems has received three Caldecott Honors, two Theodor Geisel Medals and five Geisel Honors. While those honors are incredible, Willems has indicated one of the greatest gifts is hearing children laugh and react to the words and pictures in his books.
These books have been sought after for storytime at home or a quick read before bed... again and again and again. They can and have be enjoyed by the entire family. In a recent interview with PBS News Hour, Willems discussed his reach and how he engages his audience.
Whether or not you have read any of Willems books, the key is to keep children reading. Our staff says it's important to have a variety to choose from. Therefore, the next time you head to any of our library locations or access our digital resources, keep this in mind - there are ways to encourage reading in your household.
Ear reading with audiobooks
Skill building reading with guides, manipulatives and board games
Different types of reading with picture books, comic books, chapter books, graphics novels and others