Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late!
Children's Literature - Ashley HergenroederAs the author of many humorous books such as Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus and Knuffle Bunny, Mo Willems has the ability to make readers laughthis story is no exception. It begins with the narrator having a hard time getting a pigeon, the main character, to bed. This narrator has asked the reader to help make sure the pigeon does not stay up late. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. Like any normal, energetic child, the pigeon invents excuse after excuse of why he should not go to bed at this time. He also tries to change the subject to anything that does not involve going to bed. Excuses like having a hot dog party are one of the many creative stalling tactics used by the pigeon to stay up even five minutes laterand a wonderful bit of Willems' style. The pigeon refuses to admit that he needs to go to bed but his yawns make it quite obvious that he should. The simple pictures in this funny story will have children sympathizing with this pigeon and making excuses of their own about why they too should stay up late.
School Library JournalPreS-Gr 2-The star of Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (Hyperion, 2003) returns in another irresistible tale. Hurrying away to brush his teeth, the pajama-clad bus driver implores readers not to let his feathered friend stay up late. Youngsters are thrust into the role of caregiver as the puerile pigeon attempts to talk his way out of the inevitable, coming up with requests that range from manipulative ("I hear there's a good show about birds on TV tonight. Should be very educational") to cajoling ("Y'know, we never get to talk anymore. Tell me about your day-") to classic ("Can I have a glass of water?"). Meanwhile, the fowl fights yawns and tries to keep his wide eye open, despite a drooping lid. Defying drowsiness to the last, he finally falls asleep, clutching his stuffed bunny tightly under his wing. Set against comfortably faded pastel backgrounds, the cartoon artwork focuses tightly on the main character, with his comments presented in dialogue balloons. The black-crayon lines speak volumes, as the pigeon's body language and the positioning of his ever-expressive eye humorously convey each nuance of the text. Children will be charmed by this bedtime treat, which will have them laughing out loud at the pigeon-and at themselves.-Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journal Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus ReviewsThe pigeon with Attitude is back, trying every persuasive trick in his arsenal to convince readers to let him stay up late. After his 2004 outing with the hot dog, the presentation reverts to the original direct-address format, the pajama-clad bus driver asking readers to take care of things while he brushes his teeth. The pigeon ("First of all, I'm not even tired!") alternates bombast with plaintiveness as the page backgrounds change from the familiar dusty pink to a deep, restful blue. The inevitable end is never in doubt, as our persistent hero fights off yawn after colossal yawn, increasingly bleary-eyed despite his determination to stay up late. Readers will easily recognize themselves in the pigeon, even as they will delight in sending him to bed-the fact that he sleeps with a stuffed knuffle bunny will add to the intertextual fun. If this offering necessarily lacks the freshness of the original, its wholehearted sense of fun more than makes up for any hint of formula. Sure to provide excuses to stay up late ("C'mon! What's five minutes in the grand scheme of things?") to countless giggling kids. (Picture book. 3-6)
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