Everyone’s favorite grouch of a fowl returns, though the spotlight is firmly fixed elsewhere.
Never content to be merely a supporting character, The Pigeon nonetheless takes a backseat in a story in which The Duckling asks for and receives a cookie with nuts. Incensed, The Pigeon proceeds to rant about the various items and impossibilities he has asked for over the years, ignoring point blank the fact that The Duckling got her cookie by asking politely. At the end of the expected meltdown, the smaller bird reveals that she only got the cookie in the first place so that she could give it to The Pigeon. Flabbergasted (“Hubba— Whaa?!?”), our hero leaves with cookie in hand, and The Duckling reveals that her seeming sainthood—she shares slyness as well as color with Tweety Bird—may be a bit of an act. Even those who think they may have tired of The Pigeon’s antics will find much to enjoy in this familiar but different outing. The importance of politeness is evident, but its delivery is not didactic in the least.
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. (Picture book. 3-8)