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The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog! Hardcover – April 19, 2004
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Sesame Street veteran and Emmy Award-winner Mo Willems returns with a fast, funny follow-up to Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!--only this time, the short-tempered pigeon faces his perfect foil in a "special guest star" duckling. In the previous Pigeon book, author and illustrator Willems expertly distilled the escalating emotions of preschoolers all too anxious to get their way. The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog--also a simple and sparsely illustrated story--explores the flip side of that coin, exposing the poker-face persuasive powers of young negotiators. The pigeon just wants to greedily eat the hot dog that he's found: "Oooooh! A hot dog! Yummy! Yummy! Yummy!" Then along comes the duckling, "scooty scoot scoot!" with his insistent questions about hot dogs: "What do they taste like?...Would you say that it tastes like chicken?...Hey, I'm a curious bird." At first, the pigeon entertains the duckling, "Each morsel is a joy! A celebration in a bun!", but then he soon suspects the little bird might have designs on his delicious dog. In the end, of course, the clever duckling gets his way--and half of the hot dog: "You know, you're pretty smart for a duckling." (Ages Baby to Preschool) --Paul Hughes
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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