Nov 27, 2011
Willy by Geert De Kockere
Illustrated by Carll Cneut
Willy was an elephant with legs like pillars, a massive body, huge ears, and a tiny "insignificant little" tail with "a ridiculous little brush at the end." "And still Willy was invited everywhere." His huge ears made him a great listener. With his huge body he could push children who didn't want to go to school, or cars that stood in the way. With his little brush at the end of his tail, he could draw and write beautifully. He was welcomed everywhere. Sometimes, someone would make a comment mocking his ears or his legs like pillars, but "those remarks where brushed off very quickly" or "overruled." And then he was comforted by many who loved him.
At this point in Willy the author talks directly to the reader and the point of the story becomes clear: "So if you have legs like pillars or ears that flap in the wind or if you have a body as big as two [...] then think of him. Think of Willy. HE HAD IT ALL." And still he was loved.
Willy is an interesting book to share in the elementary classroom and discuss the topic of self-esteem and bullying. The illustrations by Cneut and the length and style of the text, give the book a feeling more connected with the upper elementary grades. Great book to show kids to own who they are, just like Willy.