I Really Like Slop!
Written and illustrated by Moe Willems
Hyperion Books for Children, 2015, Ages 4-8
The story I Really Like Slop! is about an elephant named Gerald, and a pig named Piggie. Piggie made himself a meal that does not smell too appetizing to Gerald and he calls it “slop” Piggie starts to explain to Gerald the different things that go into slop that makes it so delicious to him, but Gerald finds it to be repulsive. When Piggie asks Gerald if he would like to try Gerald says no, and this hurts Piggie because he really likes slop, and he really likes Gerald so he wants Gerald to enjoy what he enjoys. When Gerald sees that Piggie is upset he decides to take one for the team and give it a try for his good friend Piggie. When he tries the slop you can tell by Gerald’s reaction that he does not like the slop, and when Piggie asks if he likes it Gerald is honest to Piggie and says, “No, but I’m glad I tried it. Because I really like you.” It is obvious that that made Piggie very happy.
The writing style is an interesting one. Every page is just a back and forth conversation between Gerald and Piggie about the slop. There is a lot of exaggeration between the two and that is obvious in the text. An important thing to understand about this book is that the text is apart of the illustration too. When you see the two talking it is in text bubbles above their heads. A good example of the exaggerated speech is when Piggie is trying to explain slop to Gerald and he says, “Sure, I eat this! Pigs really, really, really, really, really like slop! Eating slop is part of pig culture.” Gerald’s response to his extreme opinion on slop was just, “oh” as he rolls his eyes. It is an easy, and interesting read that children would definitely enjoy.
The illustrations are pretty basic but really add character to the story as well. There is no scenery it is just the two of them in a blank area, with Piggie holding the slop that has a few flies around it, and that is about as in depth as they go. Their facial expressions and body language change as their conversation continues. Even though it doesn’t have all these extravagant details and scenery I think this is good enough for this story. The best part is when Gerald tries the slop and he starts to flop around and change colors. I think this is important because it really gets the point across about how gross slop really is. Also, kids will really get a kick out of it because he is really having a hard time with enjoying such a nasty dish.
I feel this is a very well written children’s book, and it is the type of book I would want in my classroom one day. It has such a silly story, but it carries a nice message about friendship that would be important for children to understand at such a young age, especially because kids at this age are all about “mine” and not wanting to share or try things the other kids do. The characters are very cute, and the text is so simple that it would even be a good book for a child in the early stages of independent reading.
Reviewed by J.E.