Elephant and Piggie Read Alikes

Filled with hilarious illustrations and comical dialogue, it is no wonder the The Elephant and Piggie series by Mo Willems has become a national bestseller and won multiple awards. These charming stories have helped countless children grow a love of reading.

But what should children read after they’ve finished the The Elephant and Piggie series? Have no fear! I’ve compiled a list of engaging easy readers along a similar reading level that children are going to love.

The following books have expressive illustrations, comical dialogue and endearing characters learning life lessons.

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See the Cat: Three Stories About a Dog by David LaRochelle, illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka

This witty book is full of humor and fun and, best of all, perfect for emerging readers! A dog politely disagrees with an unseen narrator about what is occurring in this story with hilarious results! The short sentences are made up of mostly sight words and words that can be sounded out while the brief dialogue and the expressive illustrations allow children to practice reading with expression.  It was no surprise that this lovable story won the 2021 Geisel Award!

We also love the sequels See the Dog and See the Ghost.

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Duck, Duck, Porcupine (series) by Salina Yoon

In this Theodore Seuss Geisel Honor-winning series, readers meet a trio of adorable animals who share amusing exploits in three short stories. Since one of the characters, Little Duck, doesn’t speak, children refine their visual literacy and inference skills observing Little Duck’s actions and expressions. Colorful, bold pictures fill the pages while the stories are told through speech bubbles displaying simple text and accessible plot lines. These sweet books have just the right amount of humor and cuteness to make them a good choice for beginning reader collections.   Lexile: AD390L 340/ Fountas & Pinnell: H

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Worm and Caterpillar Are Friends by Kaz Windness

I am so impressed with how endearing and thoughtful this simple, but surprisingly powerful story is. Through comical dialogue and full color illustrations, readers follow Worm and Caterpillar as their friendship is tested as Caterpillar changes…a lot! This book is further enhanced with drawing instructions on how to create Worm and Caterpillar as well as a diagram of each of their life cycles. It also won a Theodore Seuss Geisel Honor.

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The Cozy Home by Ame Dyckman, illustrated by Mark Teague

A cat, rat, and bat move in a house together in this witty and charming book. With three-and-a-half short chapters, comical dialogue, and expressive illustrations, this new friendship story is perfect for emergent readers.

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BunBun & BonBon Fancy Friends by Jess Keating

Prepare to meet the adorable BunBun and his new friend BobBon. In five short chapters, the budding friends bond over their love of donuts, bow-ties, and all things fancy. This book is a real delight.

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The Fox series by Corey R. Tabor

This delightful series is full of short simple sentences, charming illustrations, and amusing storylines. Each book stars a mischievous fox and his woodland friends. With its lovable characters and giggle-inducing storylines, this such a fun series for new readers.

Several books in this series have won the Geisel Medal including  Fox the Tiger, Fox At Night and Fox Has a Problem.

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Snail and Worm (series) by Tina Kügler

With its engaging illustrations, this sweet easy reader series is perfect for growing readers or for sharing as a read aloud. Told through three short chapters, readers will delight in the amusing antics of snail and worm as they navigate friendship and life as small creatures in a big world. Each story is clever, quirky, and perfect for kids. The characters’ comical facial expressions are not only hilarious, but they also help guide new readers on the tone to use when reading the dialogue.

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Ducks Run Amok by J.E. Morris

Hilarious hijinks ensue when an unruly flock of ducks invade a turtle’s peaceful pond. The story is made even more silly by the turtle comically arguing with the narrator. With its funny storyline mixed with expressive speech bubbles and rhyming text, this is a fun choice to engage new readers.  

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Don’t Worry, Bee Happy (Bumble and Bee series) by Ross Burach

Three short chapters follow two exuberant bees and their best friend, a grumpy frog, through several comical scenarios. Brightly colored illustrations appear in large graphic-novel-like panels and most of the text is displayed through speech bubbles. Each character has their own colored speech bubble, so it is easy to follow. The animated illustrations paired with the funny dialogue effortlessly lead children to read with expression.

The bees’ enthusiasm is perfectly paired against the frog’s impassive stares and comments making this a book that my seven-year-old son wanted to read aloud multiple times.

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Nat the Cat Takes a Bath by Jarrett Lerner

This comical story follows a cat named Nat who is trying to avoid his bath. Luckily, his friend Pat is there to help him. Using simple language that often repeats paired with expressive illustrations, this story is perfect for new readers.

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The Totally Secret Secret (Ballet Cat series) by Bob Shea

Bob Shea is well known for his whimsical illustrations and humorous stories. His quirky easy reader series stars a spunky feline who loves to dance. While each book in the series has fantastical, energetic pictures and humorous dialogue, the books tackle issues that are important to children such as playing with a friend, trying a new dance move, and familial competition. This exuberant series has tons of kid appeal! Lexile: AD370L

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Ling and Ting Not Exactly the Same (series) by Grace Lin

This Theodore Seuss Geisel Honor book stars two amiable twin sisters who partake in a variety of adventures in six short chapters. There is an old-fashion charm to these books that is both playful and whimsical. Elements of Chinese culture such as making dumplings and learning to use chopsticks are effortlessly woven in adding to the allure of the stories. Each chapter is only a few pages long, leaving children eager to read Ling and Ting’s next escapade. Lexile: 390L / Fountas & Pinnell: K

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Narwhal and Jelly series by Ben Clanton

The cheerful Narwhal and no-nonsense Jelly Fish are two unlikely friends who could not be more adorable. Upon meeting, they each believe the other is imaginary and the comical hijinks continue from there.  Both my children enjoyed listening to this series as a read aloud and my son couldn’t wait to start reading these delightful books on his own.

These charming books use a graphic novel format with large panels and dialogue to draw the reader in. There are three short stories in each book that are full of humor that both adults and children will appreciate. As a bonus, there are fun facts about sea creatures in between each chapter.  Lexile: 490L

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Cranky Chicken by Katherine Battersby

This seriously silly story has been on repeat at our house. Both my 7 year-old daughter and 10 year-old son can’t get enough of the hilarious hijinks of Cranky Chicken! In the classic case of opposites attracting, a friendly outgoing worm befriends a very grumpy chicken. It is so downright entertaining to watch their friendship bloom over three comical chapters.  Buy It Here


Unlimited Squirrels series by Mo Willems

Mo Willems’ hilarious new easy reader series, Unlimited Squirrels, weaves in his signature style of humor with exciting childhood themes and milestones such as losing a tooth and learning to read. Filled with comical word play, children and adults alike will giggle at the funny squirrels and their hijinks.

My own new reader loves this comical new series that is full of amusing adventures, corny jokes, and fascinating facts! Lexile: 420L

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 Elephant and Piggie Like Reading! series

Though the Elephant and Piggie series ended in 2016, the dynamic duo now live on in a new collaborative series called  Elephant and Piggie Like Reading! . Mo Willems has teamed up with a variety of authors and illustrators including Laurie Keller, Ryan T. Higgins, and  Dan Santat to create a new easy reader series.

Similar to the original Elephant and Piggie series, the stories are told mostly through speech bubbles with a variety of punctuation and different size text. There are also visual clues from the emotions displayed on the characters’ faces and through their body language to help budding readers practice reading with feeling. While each story ranges in the storyline, style, and reading level, they are all funny and will most likely be enjoyed by children and adults alike.

Find the entire collection HERE.


We are Growing by Laurie Keller, 2016

Whoever thought grass could be so funny? Large text accompanied by lots of onomatopoeia tell the story of eight blades of grass who find themselves growing in all different ways. Each shoot has a distinct personality or feature that makes them the tallest, curliest, silliest, etc. Poor Walt is the last to grow and struggles to figure out what he is. When they are all cut shorter by a lawn mower, Walt discovers his own talent. While the others are at first distraught after being cut down, their mood quickly changes when two insects point out that they will grow again.

This is a fun book filled with clever humor, repeated text, and simple sentences to build literacy skills, and it has a great message of resilience and celebrating everyone’s uniqueness. It is no wonder the book won the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for best easy reader in 2017. 

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The Cookie Fiasco by Dan Santat, 2016

Santat, who won a Caldecott Award in 2015 for The Adventures of Beekle, works his magic again in this new easy reader that not only helps children practice reading skills, but also introduces important math concepts.

When there are three cookies for four friends, they must decide how to divide the cookies fairly. Comical arguments ensue on just how the cookies should be distributed. Hippo, who breaks things when he is nervous, accidentally splits the cookies into pieces promoting a discussion on fractions. Luckily the cookies are eventually broken in equal parts for all to enjoy… until a cow enters with three glasses of milk. 

This is a funny story with expressive illustrations that are sure to make children laugh. Adults will also appreciate the humor, especially Gerald’s epiphany at the end when he  states, “good books make me feel big things…” So true. This book makes me feel happy that there are so many great new easy readers to help children grow their love of reading.

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The Good for Nothing Button by Charise Mericle Harper, 2017

When a yellow bird presents a red button to two other birds, he declares that the button does nothing. When the other birds press the button, they feel a range of emotions from surprise, to sadness, to happiness, etc. creating the conclusion that feelings are something and that instead of the button doing nothing it in fact does everything. As with the other books in the series, this story repeats many of the same text allowing the reader to build confidence with their new literacy skills while enjoying a humorous story.

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It’s Shoe Time! by Bryan Collier, 2017

It’s Daddy Daughter Day and a little girl excitedly picks out the perfect pair of shoes from her closet for the big outing. When she chooses two shoes that don’t match, however, the anthropomorphized pair left behind chase after her to rectify her mistake only to discover a big surprise.

Filled with witty wordplay and engaging artwork, this is one you do “knot” want to miss!

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The Itchy Book by LeUyen Pham, 2018

It is almost impossible not to itch or giggle when reading this entertaining easy reader. When a dinosaur notices words carved into stone stating that “Dinosaurs Do Not Scratch” he informs his friends that they absolutely cannot scratch themselves no matter how itchy they may be. What follows is a comedy of errors that is sure to have children laughing while they follow along.

Brightly colored, engaging illustrations add to the humor making this another winning addition to the Elephant & Piggie Like Reading series.

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Harold & Hog Pretend for Real! by Dan Santat, 2019

When Mo Willems and Dan Santat team up for a book together, you know it is going to be amazing. 

Everyone loves Gerald and Piggie including Harold and Hog. When the two friends decide to pretend to be the famous literary duo, they discover that while they might look like their heroes, their personalities differ greatly. After a few comical attempts at their pretend play, they make a minor change that results in a delightfully gratifying ending.

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What About Worms!? by Ryan T. Higgins, 2020

An adorable stuffed animal-like tiger brags about his braveness, but admits that his one fear is worms. A hysterical sequence of events reveal that a group of worms are also scared of tigers until they learn more about them.

This clever story had my son laughing out loud and excited for return readings. We loved it so much, it inspired us to make our own What About Worms sundae! With chocolate ice cream, Oreo crumbles, sprinkles, and gummy worms, our sundae was almost as irresistible as the book!

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I’m On It by Andrea Tsurumi, 2021

This book is such a fun way for little ones to learn or review prepositions! When a goat shows off his ability to balance, a frog tries to keep up with amusing results. As a parent, I loved how new words were repeated often in funny ways, while my daughter loved the physical humor of the illustrations. This one is sure to make a splash with many new readers!

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It’s a Sign by Jarrett and Jerome Pumphrey, 2022

Using comical wordplay, Elephant and Piggie introduce readers to It’s a Sign , starring four friendly foxes who form a club. Each fox brings a unique talent to their club, creating a terrific tale of teamwork. The delightful story has the perfect combination of charm and humor, paired with simple text that makes it an excellent choice for new readers.

Emergent readers aren’t the only ones who will enjoy this new book, though. Teachers and parents will be clamoring to use this story as a read aloud to discuss collaboration, explore how a simple letter can be combined with other letters to make words, and introduce word families. It may also inspire children to create their own clubs based on their interests.

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