Sunday, September 26, 2010

SLIS 5420 - Module 5 - The Pigeon Wants a Puppy

Module 5 - The Pigeon Wants a Puppy - Mo Willems

Willems, Mo. The Pigeon Wants a Puppy! 2008 Hyperion Books for Children. ISBN: 978-1-4231-0960-0

The cute and easily excitable Pigeon wants a puppy and then discovers that getting what he wishes for is more than he "bargained for."

What I thought
One of the best things about this story is how the Pigeon  addresses the reader. The book is very theatrical which makes sense because Willems is an Emmy award winning writer for children's television. I've read this story to my own children and at library Story Time and each time I've had a great response. Kids love the Pigeon's expressions and they can identify with how much he wants things that he can't have. The illustrations make this book special and very funny.

Outside Reviews
 "The incorrigible bird returns in his fourth full-length romp. This time, Pigeon voices another common childhood dream: he wants a puppy. And he wants it NOW. He even promises to take care of it: "I'll water it once a month." He argues his case so forcefully that a puppy appears, but it's more than he expects: "The teeth! The hair! That wet nose!…I mentioned the teeth, right?" So he sets his sights on a different pet. Kids will love this perfectly paced picture book, which offers both the expected (breaking the fourth wall, Pigeon's classic temper tantrum) and a new twist (Pigeon actually gets what he wants? Impossible!). Willems's hilariously expressive illustrations and engaging text are cinematic in their interplay. Maybe kids won't appreciate the genius behind it the way adults will, but that won't stop them from asking for this book again and again."

MacMillan, K. (2008). The Pigeon Wants a Puppy!. School Library Journal, 54(6), 116. Retrieved from MasterFILE Premier database.

"The charming, exasperating pigeon returns, and this time he REALLY knows what he wants--or at least he thinks he does. As in his previous outings, he addresses the reader--"I'm fine. Thanks for asking"--and communicates a wide range of emotions through minimal words and a few deft pen strokes that brilliantly bring to life his one-of-a-kind personality. Following his now-familiar routine, the pigeon throws a tantrum and slyly attempts to manipulate the reader's (listener's) emotions: "You don't want me to be happy, do you? …You just don't understand." Be careful what you wish for might well be the moral of this tale, since the reality of a puppy turns out to be hilariously larger and more frightening than the pigeon's or readers' expectations. Even though the pigeon may get more than he bargained for, his many fans with find they get exactly what they've come to expect: lots of giggles. (Picture book. 4-8)"

(2008). THE PIGEON WANTS A PUPPY!. Kirkus Reviews, 76(8), 442. Retrieved from MasterFILE Premier database.

Using this book in the library
I've had great success with any Pigeon story at Story Time. Younger children are perfect for this book. Preschool kids don't get bored with the story and they laugh at Pigeon's funny antics. The story where the Pigeon wants to drive the bus (Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus)  is the best to read with kids because they love to tell him NO! over and over again.

For Fun:
Visit Pigeon Presents! website. Play games and color printouts that have characters from Mo Willems' books.

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