Happy Friendiversary! Mo Willems and First Book Join Forces to Bring New Books to New Orleans Kids

Happy Friendiversary! From your friends at First Book

Today is Friendiversary, when we celebrate the anniversary of our friendships. Think of one of your oldest and dearest friends. When did you first meet? How did you meet? That story is the story of your Friendiversary.

First Book is celebrating Friendiversary this week by providing 7,000 new Elephant & Piggie books to second-graders at Title I schools in Louisiana and Massachusetts. The Elephant & Piggie series is written and illustrated by our friend Mo Willems, whose support makes it possible for First Book able to provide these books. Every book includes a special Friendiversary note from Mo, and his publisher, Disney Publishing Worldwide, is also providing activity kits, stickers and posters free of charge to each classroom.

In fact, we’re so delighted with the Friendiversary kit that we also made it available to all the schools and programs in First Book’s national network.

There are Friendiversary parties happening in classrooms and programs all over today … or tomorrow, or last weekend. We’re pretty flexible on when you actually celebrate Friendiversary.

A Friendiversary party at James Singleton Charter School in New OrleansThe biggest party we’ve heard about so far took place in New Orleans, at James Singleton Charter School. (Mo grew up in New Orleans, and has a special place in his heart for New Orleans kids, so making sure they all had copies of his books was important to him.)

Lynetta Rhodes, the chair of the local First Book volunteer group in New Orleans, organized the party. “I love to see the community come together for our children,” she said. “You should have seen their faces light up when they saw Elephant and Piggie!”

Lynetta sent us some great pictures, and filled us in on all the details:

  • Every student got two copies of Mo’s books to keep, including There’s a Bird On Your Head, Are You Ready to Play Outside?, Today I Will Fly and Should I Share My Ice Cream?. (“I can’t believe I got two books!” one of the students told Lynetta).
  • There were all kinds of local celebrity guests on hand to read with the kids, including New Orleans city councilmember Susan Guidry, children’s author Robin Washington, Louisiana State Rep. Wesley Bishop and TV reporter Rosa Flores.
  • There was plenty of ice cream.

A Friendiversary party at James Singleton Charter School in New Orleans“The children looked adorable in their ‘Elephant and Piggie’ ears and the costumed characters made the kids shout with glee,” said local author Dianne de Las Casas, the MC for the event. “Friendiversary at James Singleton Charter School was a great success.”

Happy Friendiversary, everyone!

If you work with kids from low-income families, you can be a part of Friendiversary and other great events and opportunities throughout the year. Sign up with First Book to find out how we can help you get new books for your kids.

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Posted in Advisory Boards, Authors & Illustrators, Book Recipients, Books & Reading, First Book Events, First Book Partners, Volunteers