Children’s picture-book superstar Mo Willems (of bus-driving pigeon fame and confirmed disregard for the “fourth wall”) here entices budding readers into the pleasures of literacy by demonstrating the power of text to exert mind control. You will now think of a banana.
Further significance of the story might be found in the notion that Elephant and Piggie acquire agency by becoming conscious of their own containment in narrative. Their final yea-saying is an aspiration to eternal recurrence.
Sure, kids find this book funny. But it combines a sort of capitalist precarity of labor with anxiety about the arbitrariness of semiotic identities. Fortunately, the solution is solidarity. The revolutionary pages N and O are the most engaging part of the story.
Sure, it’s illegal, but this is insider advice I’m giving you and a true insider lets you in on all the secrets, all of them.
Rudy stops assaulting the Guy Nobody Knows for a second to take in what Pastor Baker has just said. “That’s right!” Rudy calls back. “We’re here to take the power back!” “Blessed be the Lord, my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight!” Pastor Baker screams.
When you have magic powers and know it, it can be a fine feeling, like a pleasant tingling inside. But in order to enjoy that tingling, you have to know just how much magic you have and what the rules are for using it.