Early Readers Written in Dialogue (aka Elephant and Piggie Style!)

A follower recently asked me for recommendations for books similar to Elephant and Piggie— yes, she wanted that early reading level, but she was NOT looking for silly, funny, friendship books. Instead, she wanted books written in the same dialogue format, as their kindergartener likes to do “theater” of the Elephant and Piggie books at night… (side note— this kind of reader’s theater is wonderful for developing fluency!).

So, up today, books written in the same dialogue style, for the same early reading level, as the beloved Elephant and Piggie books!

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The Fox and Chick books by Sergio Ruzzier– Fox’s and Chick’s personalities, and their friendship, remind me of Frog and Toad, but it’s written in dialogue. It’s also got pages with numerous scenes, making it almost an early graphic novel. I got this one too late to include in the photo, but definitely check it out!

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The Narwhal and Jelly books by Ben Clanton— Written as more of a graphic novel, this readability of this is definitely a step up… A good option for people who are moving beyond Elephant and Piggie in terms of reading or maturity level!

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The Croc and Ally books by Derek Anderson— So these aren’t written completely in dialogue, but it’s definitely dialogue-heavy, so could be acted out with an additional narrator character.

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The Monkey & Cake books by Drew Daywalt— These characters reminded me the most of the Gerald and Piggie… They don’t always get along or see eye to eye, sometimes they get frustrated with each other… But their friendship always wins out in the end!

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The Duck, Duck, Porcupine books by Salina Yoon— I think these characters may be my favorites on this list… The characters are very kind to each other, conflict is minimal or nonexistent (at least in the 2 books from the series that I read, but I’d expect nothing different from the author of Penguin and Pinecone and Be a Friend!), and silliness abounds.

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The Ballet Cat series by Bob Shea— Do you have someone in your house who loves ballet? These may be perfect for that child to not only read but also act out!

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The Giggle Gang series by Jan Thomas— If your kids love the silliness of Elephant and Piggie, these are perfect alternatives!

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The Elephant and Piggie Like Reading series by various authors– There’s a chance my girls don’t realize this is a separate series, as Elephant and Piggie do make appearances in the beginning and the end of each book… Either way, they love them!

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Art and Max by David Wiesner— While we usually think of Wiesner as the creator of amazing wordless books, I had actually read this one with my girls the night before getting the question about books written in dialogue. My girls LOVE this book, written as a conversation between two lizards… Stay tuned for a full recommendation of it later this month!

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The “You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You” series by Mary Ann Hoberman– I used to use these in my classroom for fluency work. They’re more difficult to read, but the series has something for everyone— Mother Goose, fairy tales, fables, scary stories, and more.

Do your kids love Elephant and Piggie as much as my 3.5-year-old does? She absolutely adores them… Her love of them may even rival her love of Frog and Toad! So, did I miss any? What books would you recommend for readers who love this Mo Willems series because they love reading it out loud and acting it out?

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