Where an exclamation point conveyed birdy delight in Willems’s The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog! this title’s interrobang implies shock at the Duckling’s good fortune. As the sequence opens, the yellow Duckling requests a cookie, receives one immediately, and graciously thanks the unseen provider with a “flappy flip flap!” The Pigeon, whom the Duckling cajoled into sharing a hot dog in the earlier book, soon arrives to express astonishment. Multipanel spreads and emphatic voice balloons reveal his outrage as The Pigeon throws a colossal tantrum (“I ask for things all the time!/ I ask to drive the bus!... I’ve asked for a walrus!... But do I get what I ask for? Noooooo!”). In an unexpected turn, the Duckling gives the Pigeon the entire cookie, shocking the bird (and probably readers, too). Willems packs his punchy dialogue, punctuation, and cartoon visuals with meaning. The Duckling’s dilated blue pupils and wiggling tail suggest studied cuteness, while the Pigeon’s pointy wings and scornful eyelids show comical aggravation. The Duckling’s outward generosity, which hides ulterior motives, ends this exuberant Pigeon installment on a snarky note worthy of Tweety Bird. Ages 2–6. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/13/2012 Release date: 04/01/2012 Genre: Children's
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