The Pigeon Needs a Bath! (Pigeon)

by Mo Willems (Author) Mo Willems (Illustrator)

The Pigeon Needs a Bath! (Pigeon)
Reading Level: K − 1st Grade
Series: Pigeon
The Pigeon really needs a bath! Except, the Pigeon's not so sure about that. Besides, he took a bath last month! Maybe. It's going to take some serious convincing to try and get the Pigeon to take the plunge.

More books in the series - See All

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review

Somewhere between aspirations of locomotion, pining for a puppy, and scrambling to finish an activity book, the Pigeon got pretty dirty. Don't tell him that, though. In enduring Willems style, the Pigeon invites reader participation through questions, provocations, and wild gesticulations. With Pigeon evidently besmeared with soot, it's a classic case of denial: " 'Clean.' 'Dirty, ' " remarks the Pigeon while making air quotes. "They're just words, right?" He then points the finger (or wing) at the accuser: "Maybe you need a bath! YEAH! When was the last time YOU had a bath?! Oh. That was pretty recently." After nervously smelling himself and discovering that even the flies hovering around him can't stand how stinky he is ("Take a bath, dude!" says one in retreat), the Pigeon finally relents. At the edge of the bathtub, though, he goes through his share of Goldilocks moments, which are presented in nearly 30 tiny sequential panels: "The water is too hot. Too cold. Too deep. Not deep enough." The Pigeon's cockeyed defiance and Willems's impeccable comedic timing are as fun and frisky as ever. Ages 3-5. Agent: Marcia Wernick, Wernick & Pratt. (Apr.)

Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

Starred Review

K-Gr 2--Persuasive Pigeon is back. He doesn't feel that he really needs a bath--after all, it's a "matter of opinion." "Clean" and "dirty" are "just words, right?" With a polished technique that logically approaches the problem, Pigeon speaks with a child's voice as he rationalizes his decision while forcefully questioning those who might even suggest that his personal hygiene and the flies buzzing around are not just "coincidental." The water might be "too hot...not deep enough...too cold...or too wet," but it only takes a mere 30 tiny frames and a dramatic large-font spread before Pigeon grandly displays the myriad possibilities for a happy bird in the bath. Willems's dirt-smudged pigeon is at once clever, garrulous, energetic, and just slightly excitable. Through simple flat-line illustrations, this bird's expressions and attitude are easy to discern. Pigeon fans will not want to miss this book, a "must add" to all libraries, for any reader appreciating the perfect art of persuasion.--Mary Elam, Learning Media Services, Plano ISD, TX

Copyright 2014 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
Mo Willems

LeUyen Pham is the prolific and bestselling illustrator of many books for children, including Gracefor President by Kelly DiPucchio, Freckleface Strawberryby Julianne Moore and God's Dreamby Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Pham has also written and illustrated her own works, including All the Things I Love About Youand Big Sister, Little Sister. A former animator for DreamWorks, shelives with her husband and two sons in Los Angeles.

See above.

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
April 20, 2014
Age Range
3 - 6 years
Kentucky Bluegrass Award
Recommended 2016
Colorado Children's Book Award
Nominee 2016

Subscribe to our delicious e-newsletter!