Book Review: The Pigeon Wants a Puppy!
Mo Willems’ status as a storytime master is becoming legendary. Book after book is a hit with kids and parent/librarian types alike. It’s akin to Outkast in their golden period from ’94 to ’00 – there really is no letdown in quality. I’ll give you a dollar if you can read one pigeon book aloud and not have the mess of them checked out for the rest of the year. In “The Pigeon Wants a Puppy!”, Mr. Willems continues to please by expertly doing two things:
1. Making youngsters a part of the story.
2. Making said youth laugh like crazy.
“The Pigeon Wants a Puppy!” is the fourth book (sixth if you’re including the two board books) featuring the blue and white bird. This time Pigeon is out to convince the reader that he deserves a puppy. This pleading is done entirely through word balloons and directed squarely at the audience. I’ve made mention in previous reviews about how word bubbles typically make a story best for solo reading, but the opposite is true here. Similar to another recent release (and recommended book) “Big and Little“, the Pigeon breaks down the fourth wall and grabs the readers attention right from the get go, promising to water the puppy once a month and “play tennis with it”. His persuasion tactics continue until he actually comes face to face with a puppy. The response? Utter terror.
As in the previous installments, Willems’ simple, emotive illustrations are amazing in their ability to convey the Pigeon’s thoughts and feelings. Single color backgrounds change with the mood of the story. An outstanding example of humor, story, and illustration all working together. A required purchase.
Find this book at your local library with WorldCat.
About Travis Jonker
Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at email@example.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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