If a storybook character could hold someone hostage and then make an unreasonable set of demands in exchange for their release, the best person for the job would be writer Mo Willem’s brainchild, the ever-so-demanding pigeon.
In the bestselling Pigeon book series, Pigeon is forever in “I want” mode.
Over time, Pigeon has asked for lots of things. Pigeon wants a puppy, various cheeses, a big red truck…and (although I am not entirely sure what it is) a hot dog party.
His list of demands gets ever more lengthy and when the duckling gets a cookie in Willem’s latest Pigeon adventure of covet and demand, Pigeon isn’t happy.
Kids will recognize themselves in Pigeon’s many attempts to ply his desires from those around him, and you can’t blame them, really. Who wouldn’t want “French fries on demand” or more “turtleneck sweaters” or to” stay up late.”
However, what really sends Pigeon over the edge is when that disturbingly polite duckling gets a cookie, simply by asking.
You can practically hear our distraught Pigeon whining when he protests, “What about me?”
Willems, a Caldecott award recipient and Emmy award winner, brings to life those irksome emotions of envy to life with the sticky relationship between Pigeon and Duckling.
“Aren’t I adorable, too?” Pigeon asks as he struggles to balance his wants versus needs and demands versus polite requests.
Kids will empathize with Pigeon, since they too know the sting of being told no to countless requests, be it for” a personal iceberg” or for candy and more candy. Pigeon is drawn in childlike, stick figure style and his limitless requests are perfect fodder for teaching kids about patience, manners, and politeness.