Double agent that he is, Willems reveals proven bedtime-delaying strategies to children and child-wranglers alike. As in his Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!
, a fatherly figure cheerfully delivers the title instructions and tiptoes offstage, leaving readers to ponder their baby-sitting assignment. The tantrum-prone Pigeon then marches into the otherwise empty frame, announcing, "First of all, I'm not even tired!" He's in the mood for an all-you-can-eat "hot dog party"—referencing The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog!
—and, in another droll product placement, enlists a greenish Knuffle Bunny doll as a tool for persuasion ("My bunny wants to stay up, too!"). From the get-go, the feathered hero is punchy, with heavy gray eyelids, but soon charcoaly half-circles appear under his eyes, and he is overcome by a gargantuan yawning fit that fills an entire spread ("OK, that was not
a yawn! I was stretching"). Willems uses voice bubbles and emphatic lettering to suggest the Pigeon's tone of voice, and his solid-color backgrounds progressively dim from soft pink to lavender to a relaxing gray-blue and warm violet, enhancing the growing sense of drowsiness. At last, the hyperactive Pigeon succumbs to slumber, but sleep-resistant and savvy readers will likely plead to read this again. Ages 2-6. (Apr.)