From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 1-In this second book featuring the star of Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (Hyperion, 2003), the shoe is on the other foot. Once again, the action starts on the title page, with the pigeon's joyous discovery of a hot dog. However, his initial delight is dampened when a small, wide-eyed duckling appears and asks, in a seemingly innocent manner, "Is that a `hot dog'?" The interloper's younger status is conveyed not just through his tinier size, but also through his dialogue, which is presented in smaller, rounder font. Though the duckling never directly asks for a bite, his incessant questioning-"Would you say that it tastes like chicken?"-infuriates the pigeon. Ultimately, the duckling's subtle approach proves successful, and both birds happily share the treat. Children, especially those with younger siblings, will have come up with this obvious solution long before the pigeon does. Willems's deceptively simple cartoon drawings convincingly portray his protagonist's emotional dilemma, from his initial joy to his frustration and struggle over what he wants to do versus what he knows is right.Robin L. Gibson, formerly at Perry County District Library, New Lexington, OH
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PreS. In this follow-up to Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus
[BKL S 1 03], the wheedling pigeon with the short fuse meets his match. "Oooooh! A hot dog!" he cries, as he zooms in for a landing on the first page. Before he can enjoy his scavenged treat, though, a little duckling scuttles over and begins asking numerous questions: "Is that a 'hot dog'?" "What do they taste like?" The pigeon loses his temper in a wing-flapping rant before the duckling innocently suggests that they share the dog, thus sparing the pigeon the frustration of having to explain the taste. Share it they do, but the pigeon knows he has been had: "You know, you're pretty smart for a duckling." Once again, Willems uses artistic minimalism (each page shows only the birds and the hot dog, rendered in basic lines) and spare, hilarious dialogue to convey surprisingly realistic emotions. Preschoolers who recognized themselves in the tantrum-throwing pigeon of the previous title will also see themselves in the calm, shrewd duckling that knows just how to get his way. Gillian EngbergCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved