Mo Willems is a three-time Caldecott Honor winner for Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale and Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity. His celebrated Elephant & Piggie early-reader series has been awarded the Theodor Seuss Geisel Medal on two occasions as well as three Honors. Other favourites include Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs and That Is Not a Good Idea. Before he turned to children's books, Mo was a writer and animator on Sesame Street, where he won six Emmy Awards. Mo lives with his family in Paris, France. Find him online at www.mowillems.com and on Twitter as @The_Pigeon.
PreS-Gr 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 Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
"* "For a child, it's a delirious formula... satisfyingly clean drawing style, even the same hilarious freak-out page where the pigeon just can't take it any more." The New York Times * "This brilliant story... manages to be beautiful to look at and funny to read, as well as requiring active audience participation." The Guardian on Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!"
In Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, the hero was subordinate to an unseen person who withheld bus-driving permission; here he has the dominant role and must placate his own pesky interloper, as he bargains with a duckling over a discarded hot dog. The tale, conveyed in the same pleasing emotive dialogue and gestures, opens with the pigeon's thrilled discovery of the title snack: "Oooooh! A hot dog!/ Yummy! Yummy! Yummy!" Suddenly, a smaller yellow bird enters from the lower right corner and asks, in rounded lower-case letters, "Is that a `hot dog'?" "Not a hot dog; my hot dog," the pigeon sniffs, but his reply gives the duckling a rhetorical advantage. "What do they taste like?" it wonders aloud. The pigeon knows the duckling's disingenuous game, but his suspicious, hooded eyes and frowning beak suggest uncertainty. The trickster, meanwhile, regards the pigeon through flirtatious blue eyes and coyly tilts its teardrop shaped beak. The pigeon glares at the audience ("Can you believe this guy!?!"), shouts "That's it!" in bold two-inch-tall caps and throws an eight-stage temper tantrum before splitting the wiener in half. "Hmmmm, needs mustard," says the duck. Through voice bubbles, body language, and expressive sizes and shapes of type, Willems crafts a comical give-and-take between the characters. He sketches both iconic birds in decisive crayony lines and tints the pages with smooth pastel hues. Readers of all ages won't be able to resist miming the sly conversation in this satisfying sequel. Ages 2-6. (May) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.