Pigeons (like certain little boys and girls who will here remain nameless) don't like to take baths, but as time passes and grime builds, the cries become intense for our fine-feathered friends and little ones to take the big dive. In this LOL picture book, master storyteller and illustrator Mo Willems (Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!) provides everything except the soap.
Somewhere between aspirations of locomotion, pining for a puppy, and scrambling to finish an activity book, the Pigeon got pretty dirty. Don't tell him that, though. In enduring Willems style, the Pigeon invites reader participation through questions, provocations, and wild gesticulations. With Pigeon evidently besmeared with soot, it's a classic case of denial: " ‘Clean.' ‘Dirty,' " remarks the Pigeon while making air quotes. "They're just words, right?" He then points the finger (or wing) at the accuser: "Maybe you need a bath! YEAH! When was the last time YOU had a bath?! Oh. That was pretty recently." After nervously smelling himself and discovering that even the flies hovering around him can't stand how stinky he is ("Take a bath, dude!" says one in retreat), the Pigeon finally relents. At the edge of the bathtub, though, he goes through his share of Goldilocks moments, which are presented in nearly 30 tiny sequential panels: "The water is too hot. Too cold. Too deep. Not deep enough." The Pigeon's cockeyed defiance and Willems's impeccable comedic timing are as fun and frisky as ever. Ages 3–5. Agent: Marcia Wernick, Wernick & Pratt. (Apr.)
DON'T LET THE PIGEON DRIVE THE BUS!
*"Brilliantly simple...hilarious."The Horn Book (starred review)
THE PIGEON WANTS A PUPPY!
2009 Children's Choice Book Award for "Kindergarten to Second Grade Book of the Year"
*"Willems's hilariously expressive illustrations and engaging text are cinematic in their interplay."School Library Journal (starred review)
DON'T LET THE PIGEON STAY UP LATE!:
*"Children will be charmed by this bedtime treat."School Library Journal (starred review)
THE PIGEON FINDS A HOT DOG!
*"Readers of all ages won't be able to resist miming the sly conversation in this satisfying sequel." -A Publishers Weekly Editors Pick
Publishers Weekly (starred review)
THE DUCKLING GETS A COOKIE!?
"Just as enjoyable as a read-aloud to a group or as a one-on-one lapsit, it's a pleasure to see Willems at the top of his game, and The Pigeon suitably humbled."Kirkus (starred review)
K-Gr 2—Persuasive Pigeon is back. He doesn't feel that he really needs a bath—after all, it's a "matter of opinion." "Clean" and "dirty" are "just words, right?" With a polished technique that logically approaches the problem, Pigeon speaks with a child's voice as he rationalizes his decision while forcefully questioning those who might even suggest that his personal hygiene and the flies buzzing around are not just "coincidental." The water might be "too hot…not deep enough…too cold…or too wet," but it only takes a mere 30 tiny frames and a dramatic large-font spread before Pigeon grandly displays the myriad possibilities for a happy bird in the bath. Willems's dirt-smudged pigeon is at once clever, garrulous, energetic, and just slightly excitable. Through simple flat-line illustrations, this bird's expressions and attitude are easy to discern. Pigeon fans will not want to miss this book, a "must add" to all libraries, for any reader appreciating the perfect art of persuasion.—Mary Elam, Learning Media Services, Plano ISD, TX
The pigeon is back, and he is filthy! Readers haven't seen the pigeon for a couple of years, not since The Duckling Gets a Cookie!? (2012), and apparently he hasn't bathed in all that time. Per the usual routine, the bus driver (clad in shower cap and bathrobe) opens the story by asking readers to help convince the pigeon to take a bath. Though he's covered in grime, the obstreperous bird predictably resists. He glares at readers and suggests that maybe they need baths. With the turn of the page, Willems anticipates readers' energetic denials: The pigeon demands, "YEAH! When was the last time YOU had a bath?!" Another beat allows children to supply the answer. "Oh." A trio of flies that find him repulsive ("P.U.!") convinces him it's time. One spread with 29 separate panels depicts the pigeon adjusting the bath ("Too wet!…Too cold.…Too reflective") before the page turn reveals him jumping in with a spread-filling "SPLASH!" Readers accustomed to the pigeon formula will note that here the story breaks from its normal rhythms; instead of throwing a tantrum, the pigeon discovers what readers already know: "This is FUN!" All the elements are in place, including page backgrounds that modulate from dirty browns to fresh, clean colors and endpapers that bookend the story (including a very funny turnabout for the duckling, here a rubber bath toy). Willems' formula is still a winner. (Picture book. 3-6)