cover image The Pigeon Wants a Puppy!

The Pigeon Wants a Puppy!

Mo Willems, . . Hyperion, $14.99 (40pp) ISBN 978-1-42310-960-0

Unforgettably introduced in Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! Willems's id-with-wings reveals that he's wanted a puppy “forever.... At least since last Tuesday” and swears he's ready to assume the responsibility of pet ownership (“I promise I'll water it once a month”). But he soon discovers that reality, well, it doesn't bite, exactly, but it has daunting teeth—and slobbers. While Pigeon is still a marvel of visual expression, Willems this time out has blunted his character's repertoire of persuasive tactics—and with the pleading dialed down, there's not much else to enjoy. There aren't enough examples of Pigeon's quick-thinking tactical maneuvers or the comic punch that comes from the cumulative onslaught. The core thrill of this series has always been offering kids the chance to experience pleading from the parental point of view—and exercise the awesome power to say no. This time, the response may simply be, “Whatever.” Ages 2-6. (Apr.)