cover image The Pigeon Has to Go to School!

The Pigeon Has to Go to School!

Mo Willems. Hyperion, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-368-04645-9

At long last, the school bell tolls for Pigeon, despite his insistence that “I already know EVERYTHING!” But as longtime readers of Willems’s series know, there’s a little bird beneath all that bluster, and Pigeon soon reveals that school has turned him into a feather-covered bundle of anxieties. “What if the teacher doesn’t like pigeons?” he asks, his normally robust black pupil shrinking to a little dot of fear. As he thinks about learning math and the alphabet, wearing a hefty backpack, and meeting other birds, the strong black outlines that have always defined Willems’s beloved, kvetching protagonist turn ragged: “The unknown stresses me out, dude,” he confides. But wait—is that a school bus he gets to ride on? “Coming through!” he shouts. “The Pigeon HAS to go to school!” Ages 3–5. (July)