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Harold & Hog Pretend For Real!

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Hog is careful. Harold is not. Harold cannot help smiling. Hog can. Hog worries so that Harold does not have to. Harold and Hog are best friends. But can Harold and Hog's friendship survive a game of pretending to be Elephant & Piggie? Hog is careful. Harold is not. Harold cannot help smiling. Hog can. Hog worries so that Harold does not have to. Harold and Hog are best friends. But can Harold and Hog's friendship survive a game of pretending to be Elephant & Piggie?


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Hog is careful. Harold is not. Harold cannot help smiling. Hog can. Hog worries so that Harold does not have to. Harold and Hog are best friends. But can Harold and Hog's friendship survive a game of pretending to be Elephant & Piggie? Hog is careful. Harold is not. Harold cannot help smiling. Hog can. Hog worries so that Harold does not have to. Harold and Hog are best friends. But can Harold and Hog's friendship survive a game of pretending to be Elephant & Piggie?

30 review for Harold & Hog Pretend For Real!

  1. 4 out of 5

    DaNae

    Every Elephant & Piggie book met kids right where they were. Harold and Hog takes a bit more effort to get there. My Kindergartners needed a definition for 'carefree'. Every Elephant & Piggie book met kids right where they were. Harold and Hog takes a bit more effort to get there. My Kindergartners needed a definition for 'carefree'.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jon Nakapalau

    Really fun book on pretending that is sure to be a favorite 'play time' book. Really fun book on pretending that is sure to be a favorite 'play time' book.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    First sentence: Hey, Hog! Let's pretend to be Elephant and Piggie! Premise/plot: Harold & Hog Pretend For Real! is one of the books in the series Elephant & Piggie Like Reading. The books in this series are introduced by...you guessed it...Mo Willems' Elephant and Piggie. In this one, two best friends Hog and Harold decide (though one of them reluctantly) to play pretend. They will PRETEND to be two of their favorite characters Gerald and Piggie. But there's a slight problem to this imaginative First sentence: Hey, Hog! Let's pretend to be Elephant and Piggie! Premise/plot: Harold & Hog Pretend For Real! is one of the books in the series Elephant & Piggie Like Reading. The books in this series are introduced by...you guessed it...Mo Willems' Elephant and Piggie. In this one, two best friends Hog and Harold decide (though one of them reluctantly) to play pretend. They will PRETEND to be two of their favorite characters Gerald and Piggie. But there's a slight problem to this imaginative role play. Harold is NOTHING like Gerald. Hog is nothing like Piggie. Can these two figure out a way to make this role play work? My thoughts: I love, love, love, love Elephant and Piggie. Probably even more than Harold and Hog do. Probably. Mo Willems' books have a tendency to make me gushy and wave my arms about when I book talk them. (And believe me I do book talk them.) So I love, love, love the idea of these characters playing pretend and "becoming" their favorite characters. These two know their characters. And just like the Elephant and Piggie books these two will have to problem solve together to find a solution. So in many ways, the two pairs of friends are quite similar. Speaking of solutions, I absolutely love the solution these two come up with!!! And I love how Gerald and Piggie pop back up at the end of the book. It's just a hoot!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    I love this!! Its my favorite Elephant and Piggie Like Reading! book yet.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Dianna

    This is such an obvious rip-off of Elephant and Piggie. Of course it's done with the original author's blessing, but even though I love E&P, I don't feel that we need more copies, no matter how well done. The story felt just like an E&P story would, although the illustrations are in a different style. Long story short: my kids liked it, but I felt that it lacked originality. This is such an obvious rip-off of Elephant and Piggie. Of course it's done with the original author's blessing, but even though I love E&P, I don't feel that we need more copies, no matter how well done. The story felt just like an E&P story would, although the illustrations are in a different style. Long story short: my kids liked it, but I felt that it lacked originality.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Tasha

    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 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.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ellon

    I love Mo Willems and his Elephant & Piggie series. I love Dan Santat and everything he writes. Them together = Amazing! I had really high expectations when I heard about this book and it didn't disappoint at all! It is such a fun fun read! I'm not sure that younger kids (those that are typically into Elephant and Piggie) will immediately get all the things that are funny in this book but they will get enough. The kids that grew up reading Elephant & Piggie that are now upper elementary students w I love Mo Willems and his Elephant & Piggie series. I love Dan Santat and everything he writes. Them together = Amazing! I had really high expectations when I heard about this book and it didn't disappoint at all! It is such a fun fun read! I'm not sure that younger kids (those that are typically into Elephant and Piggie) will immediately get all the things that are funny in this book but they will get enough. The kids that grew up reading Elephant & Piggie that are now upper elementary students will LOVE this!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lara

    Mo Willems strikes again! With Dan Santat too!! What could go wrong!? *Gasp* Harold and Hog can't pretend well enough to be best friends? Oh no! What to do! Yes, it's much silliness and a great book for talking about friendship and playing pretend. I wasn't sure about the illustration style, but it grew on me. And it's meta enough that adults might get more a kick out of it than kids, but I think older kids will enjoy it too. (view spoiler)[Best part was "Pigeon"! "I prefer walking!" Hahaha! (hid Mo Willems strikes again! With Dan Santat too!! What could go wrong!? *Gasp* Harold and Hog can't pretend well enough to be best friends? Oh no! What to do! Yes, it's much silliness and a great book for talking about friendship and playing pretend. I wasn't sure about the illustration style, but it grew on me. And it's meta enough that adults might get more a kick out of it than kids, but I think older kids will enjoy it too. (view spoiler)[Best part was "Pigeon"! "I prefer walking!" Hahaha! (hide spoiler)]

  9. 4 out of 5

    Debra

    I was so excited to see a spin off from the Elephant and Piggie books by Mo Willems. Dan Santat has some wonderful children's books in his reportoire. A "real life" elephant and pig decide to pretend to be Elephant and Piggie, but find that they can't because their personalities are not suited to the character they resemble. Maybe, if they can't pretend to be these characters, they can't be best friends either. But a simple switch solves the problem in a hilarious way. It would be such fun if Ha I was so excited to see a spin off from the Elephant and Piggie books by Mo Willems. Dan Santat has some wonderful children's books in his reportoire. A "real life" elephant and pig decide to pretend to be Elephant and Piggie, but find that they can't because their personalities are not suited to the character they resemble. Maybe, if they can't pretend to be these characters, they can't be best friends either. But a simple switch solves the problem in a hilarious way. It would be such fun if Harold and Hog could continue their adventures in this easy reader category that is so wanting in simple starter books for kids with a wonderful message of friendship.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Clarissa

    I am sad that there will be no more new Elephant and Piggie books by Mo Willems. But, there is now a Harold and Hog book. Harold and Hog are best friends. They decide that they will pretend to be elephant and Piggie, but Harold is to carefree to be Gerald, and Hog is to anxious to be Piggie. The illustrations are hilarious, and the solution to the personality problem is delightful! There is even a cameo by the Pigeon. Thank you Dan Santat, and Mo Willems! This is a fantastic early reader.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Aaron

    Perfect for Mo Willems fans, as we get to see characters trying their best to imitate Elephant and Piggie and realizing they are not in the correct roles. Works great for students who know and love those books. The guest appearance by another Mo Willems characters was awesome too. I have to go back and see if I missed any others.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

    Hilarious! Adults may like this more than kids though ;-)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jillian Heise

    Fantastic!!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Michele Knott

    Amazing. Brilliant. This will no doubt be a huge fan favorite.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    This will be a huge hit! Can’t wait to add it to the library.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Angie

    Meta like We Are in a Book. I’ve been reading it to kids all week. At first they were confused. “They’re old!” Then they got it and laughed and laughed. Then we drew Piggie and Gerald.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    Elephant & Piggie enthusiasts will like this one! I was definitely charmed by it, and kind of maybe almost hooted (very loudly) with glee at work because of a spoilery thing towards the end.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ashlee Tominey

    Elephant and Piggy lovers should really enjoy this homage.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Beverly

    Excellent beginning reader with a nice twist.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Destinee Sutton

    I love Dan Santat, but somehow these illustrations are really off-putting to me. Also, my four-year-old loves E&P and didn't really like this -- she was just confused. I think the right audience for this may be like 6+ readers who have graduated from E&P. I love Dan Santat, but somehow these illustrations are really off-putting to me. Also, my four-year-old loves E&P and didn't really like this -- she was just confused. I think the right audience for this may be like 6+ readers who have graduated from E&P.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Deb in UT

    Alena and I both liked this one.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Villain E

    Ugh. Children's meta fiction. Elephant and Piggie read a book about Harold the Elephant and Hog who dress up as Elephant and Piggie, so Elephant and Piggie dress up as Harold and Hog. Ugh. Children's meta fiction. Elephant and Piggie read a book about Harold the Elephant and Hog who dress up as Elephant and Piggie, so Elephant and Piggie dress up as Harold and Hog.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Patricia Timbrook

    If you hear the name Mo Willems, do you smile, and say, “Oh, my kids and my grand-kids love his books.”? If you don’t know anything about this prolific children’s book author and illustrator, then maybe you should, because he is a direct “descendant” of Theodor Suess Geisel–and you know that name, right? (Lots of pretending going on in his children’s books.) So, what’s this pretending thing in the review title all about? We will first set a “pretend” mode, meaning that we–you, the reader, and I, If you hear the name Mo Willems, do you smile, and say, “Oh, my kids and my grand-kids love his books.”? If you don’t know anything about this prolific children’s book author and illustrator, then maybe you should, because he is a direct “descendant” of Theodor Suess Geisel–and you know that name, right? (Lots of pretending going on in his children’s books.) So, what’s this pretending thing in the review title all about? We will first set a “pretend” mode, meaning that we–you, the reader, and I, the reviewer–will be playing a game together, an imagination game about the book, HAROLD & HOG PRETEND FOR REAL! You will imagine that you are asking the questions, when I am actually asking them for you. Then, I will respond with a “pretend-it’s-true” answer. So, let’s begin. 1.Reviewer Me: There’s an elephant and a pig that pretend to be Harold the Elephant, and Hog. Reader You: Why do they want to do this? 2.Reviewer Me: They simply want to be like someone else of their own kind: Elephant wants to be like Harold, an elephant; and Piggie wants to be like Hog. They adorn visual aids–glasses to be like Harold and a pig nose to be like Hog. Reader You: Is this why the author titled the book, Harold and Hog PRETEND FOR REAL!? Is this all that the book is about, playing the game of pretend? 3.Reviewer Me: Yes. It’s all about that. Reader You: But, why would a children’s writer do that? 4.Reviewer Me: For Fun, and because that’s what young children do a lot of. Reader You: Ok. I get that. So, what comes from Elephant’s and Piggie’s playing pretend? 5.Reviewer Me: They IMAGINE things, such as smiling like Harold, dancing and flying like Hog. Reader You: And, they enjoy doing this? 6.Reviewer Me: It’s a toss up. Seems like Elephant loves pretending. Piggie, not so sure. Reader You: What happens when they stop pretending? 7.Reviewer Me: They switch roles: Elephant puts on a nose to be Hog, while Piggie puts on eyeglasses to be Harold the Elephant. Reader You: So, then do they have real fun or pretend fun? 8.Reviewer Me: It’s a toss up. Maybe they have both. At first, it is real fun. But, after a while the real fun fades and the pretend fun steps in. Reader You: Is that all there is to the book? 9.Reviewer Me: It is, until Pigeon comes along, is invited to join the Pretend Party, refuses, and leaves. He likes being himself. Reader You: This can’t be the end of the book, right? Tell me how it ends. 10.Reviewer Me: Harold and Hog, Elephant and Piggie, all live happily forever after in Pretendville… Of course not! I threw that ending for fun. Besides, Real Reviewers never give the ending away, only Pretend Reviewers do that. Reader You: What is the book’s “take-away”? 11.Reviewer Me: For real, this time, I can say that HAROLD and HOG PRETEND FOR REAL is uniquely formatted, funny in its dilemmas, and that there’s a truth in its underlying theme: Pretending to be someone else may be fun. But, being “Piggie” or “Elephant” is all right, too. For REAL. PatSays, Children’s Book Reviewer, October 12, 2019 (Mrs. Patricia Ann Timbrook) https://patriciatimbrook.wordpress.co...

  24. 5 out of 5

    Nathaniel Darkish

    A cute idea but conceptually a little too meta for little kids to really get a good grasp of.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tami

    Harold & Hog Pretend For Real is a new addition to the Elephant & Piggie Love to Read Books Easy Reader series spun off from Mo Willems' popular (and brilliant) Elephant & Piggie books. Hog and Harold are best friends and they love reading about Elephant and Piggie and their adventures in books. They decide to pretend to BE Elephant and Piggie. Hog puts a pig snout on his face (to be like Piggie) and Harold dons a pair of glasses (to imitate Gerald, the Elephant). As they begin their game of pret Harold & Hog Pretend For Real is a new addition to the Elephant & Piggie Love to Read Books Easy Reader series spun off from Mo Willems' popular (and brilliant) Elephant & Piggie books. Hog and Harold are best friends and they love reading about Elephant and Piggie and their adventures in books. They decide to pretend to BE Elephant and Piggie. Hog puts a pig snout on his face (to be like Piggie) and Harold dons a pair of glasses (to imitate Gerald, the Elephant). As they begin their game of pretend they realize that Harold is not careful enough to be Gerald and Hog is not carefree enough to be Piggie. Hog and Harold are despondent until they realize that Hog can pretend to be Gerald and Harold can pretend to be Piggie! They exchange pig snout for glasses and joyfully commence their pretending game! An added bonus is when Harold (as Piggie) & Hog (as Gerald) encounter a bird wearing a Pigeon costume (the main character from Willems' The Pigeon Wants To Drive the Bus). They invite him to join their game, promising he can "drive the bus" if he pretends with them! The story concludes with the 'real' Elephant & Piggie as they finish reading the story and dash off to pretend to be Harold & Hog. I love the way the delight of the characters and their story spill over the pages and into the reader, pulling you firmly into the story. Harold & Hog Pretend For Real is a joyful celebration of reading, imaginative play and friendship!. I love that Mo Willems allows the characters to speak about their love of and fascination with books and reading directly to their young readers. If you enjoy this one I highly recommend all the Elephant & Piggie books--especially We Are In A Book!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    In this brilliant easy reader, the absolutely outstanding talents of Dan Santat and Mo Willems cross. Elephant and Piggie start there usual introduction for their imprint before the characters of Harold and Hog flip the page. this transition to Santat's version of the elephant and pig, marks a change to his style as well. The humour and interwoven lessons though are just what you might expect from a Willems' creation, as both have similar narrative styles. Harold and Hog, like so many others, lo In this brilliant easy reader, the absolutely outstanding talents of Dan Santat and Mo Willems cross. Elephant and Piggie start there usual introduction for their imprint before the characters of Harold and Hog flip the page. this transition to Santat's version of the elephant and pig, marks a change to his style as well. The humour and interwoven lessons though are just what you might expect from a Willems' creation, as both have similar narrative styles. Harold and Hog, like so many others, love Gerald and Piggie, so the two try to be them. But as they discover Harold is not like Gerald, despite being the same creature, and Hog is not like Piggie. In fact they are more similar to their opposite. There are quite a few good lessons packed into this one: no two people are alike even if they have a shared heritage, no two friends are alike, and, by far the best, even if a character doesn't match your personality, gender, or body type you can cosplay them. When they return, the real Elephant and Piggie look like they've seen into the Twilight Zone and it is just priceless.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    Harold and Hog are a "real" elephant and a "real" pig who love Mo Willems characters Elephant and Piggy so much, they decide to pretend they ARE Elephant and Piggy. The problem is, Hog's personality is not like Piggy's and Harold is too carefree to act like Elephant. Can they pretend to be best friends when they are not like their counterparts? Wait . . . they are already best friends! Dan Santat has adapted these characters perfectly. I love their cartoon masks (Piggy's cartoon nose, Elephant's Harold and Hog are a "real" elephant and a "real" pig who love Mo Willems characters Elephant and Piggy so much, they decide to pretend they ARE Elephant and Piggy. The problem is, Hog's personality is not like Piggy's and Harold is too carefree to act like Elephant. Can they pretend to be best friends when they are not like their counterparts? Wait . . . they are already best friends! Dan Santat has adapted these characters perfectly. I love their cartoon masks (Piggy's cartoon nose, Elephant's line drawn glasses), their word bubble conversations and the silly situation they are in. Perfect for fans of Mo Willems. Visit this and more of my reviews at https://kissthebookjr.blogspot.com/20...

  28. 4 out of 5

    Edwina

    I have been reading this book out loud to my library classes. I found it really difficult to keep the names and adjectives straight. Careful and carefree, Harold and Gerald. The first few times was a bit of a mess. The younger students were confused. Why do Elephant and Piggie look real? old? weird? Why are there X's on the floor? Why do they sound like Piggie and elephant if it's not them? The older students knew the fix for the set up dilemma almost immediately, so they felt pretty darn proud I have been reading this book out loud to my library classes. I found it really difficult to keep the names and adjectives straight. Careful and carefree, Harold and Gerald. The first few times was a bit of a mess. The younger students were confused. Why do Elephant and Piggie look real? old? weird? Why are there X's on the floor? Why do they sound like Piggie and elephant if it's not them? The older students knew the fix for the set up dilemma almost immediately, so they felt pretty darn proud of themselves, and maybe a bit bored. No one liked the pigeon character with the big head. I guess we need a lesson on not judging by looks. Over all, it was a good laugh though.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Martha

    The "Elephant and Piggie Like Reading!" series is a favorite library pick for K-2nd graders. The latest title by Dan Santat is packed with suspense when Harold & Hog pretend to be book characters. They recognize that they have a lot in common with the characters in a book they find about an elephant and a pig. Yet, when they can't pretend to be just like their matching animals in the book, they worry they can't still be best friends. Harold & Hog's clever problem solving creates a satisfying emp The "Elephant and Piggie Like Reading!" series is a favorite library pick for K-2nd graders. The latest title by Dan Santat is packed with suspense when Harold & Hog pretend to be book characters. They recognize that they have a lot in common with the characters in a book they find about an elephant and a pig. Yet, when they can't pretend to be just like their matching animals in the book, they worry they can't still be best friends. Harold & Hog's clever problem solving creates a satisfying empowering ending that young readers will love. The illustrations in this book are absolutely breath taking 3-dimensional pictures full of humor, energy, and lots of fun.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jana

    What a fun way to celebrate books and reading! Elephant and Piggie books are hugely popular and I'm sure there are lots of kids who love to pretend to be the characters in their favorite books. The characters, Harold & Hog, leap right out of the pages pretending to be Elephant and Piggie. Seems like it should be simple for these two to assume their proper roles, as they both appear to be so similar. But, young readers will giggle as they see that getting into character is tough, when you're so m What a fun way to celebrate books and reading! Elephant and Piggie books are hugely popular and I'm sure there are lots of kids who love to pretend to be the characters in their favorite books. The characters, Harold & Hog, leap right out of the pages pretending to be Elephant and Piggie. Seems like it should be simple for these two to assume their proper roles, as they both appear to be so similar. But, young readers will giggle as they see that getting into character is tough, when you're so much different. This would be a fun book to share aloud with young children, especially those that are familiar with Mo Willems' books.

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