Review: Harold & Hog Pretend for Real by Dan Santat

Harold & Hog Pretend for Real by Dan Santat

Harold & Hog Pretend for Real by Dan Santat (9781368027168)

Harold and Hog decide to pretend to be Elephant and Piggie in this easy reader that pays homage to the genius of Mo Willems while making something entirely new.  The two characters put on Gerald’s glasses and Piggie’s nose to help them pretend. Harold starts to describe what Piggie is like with Piggie’s carefree exuberance. Harold can’t wait to try to be Gerald with his carefulness too. Harold wants to be careful as he dances, flies and does so many things! Suddenly Harold realizes that he can’t be Gerald and Hog can’t be Piggie, they just can’t pretend that much. Perhaps though there is a solution!

Filled with exactly the right dialogue and humor, this is a very clever take on the classic Elephant and Piggie. The art itself pulls the story far enough away from Elephant and Piggie to make it clear that this is different. Add to that the juxtaposing attitudes of Harold and Hog and you have a set up for pure delight. The book even includes a touch of Pigeon to round it all out.

Smart, funny and just what Mo would want. Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from library copy.