Where an exclamation point conveyed birdy delight in Willems's The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog! this title's interrobang implies shock at the Duckling's good fortune. As the sequence opens, the yellow Duckling requests a cookie, receives one immediately, and graciously thanks the unseen provider with a "flappy flip flap!" The Pigeon, whom the Duckling cajoled into sharing a hot dog in the earlier book, soon arrives to express astonishment. Multipanel spreads and emphatic voice balloons reveal his outrage as The Pigeon throws a colossal tantrum ("I ask for things all the time!/ I ask to drive the bus!... I've asked for a walrus!... But do I get what I ask for? Noooooo!"). In an unexpected turn, the Duckling gives the Pigeon the entire cookie, shocking the bird (and probably readers, too). Willems packs his punchy dialogue, punctuation, and cartoon visuals with meaning. The Duckling's dilated blue pupils and wiggling tail suggest studied cuteness, while the Pigeon's pointy wings and scornful eyelids show comical aggravation. The Duckling's outward generosity, which hides ulterior motives, ends this exuberant Pigeon installment on a snarky note worthy of Tweety Bird. Ages 2-6. (Apr.)Copyright 2012 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.
K-Gr 2—Duckling, familiar to readers of The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog! (Hyperion, 2004), asks politely and receives a cookie with nuts. Incredulous, Pigeon rants about the many things that he has asked for and failed to receive—a chance to drive the bus, hot-dog parties, a walrus, one more story, his personal iceberg, etc. In classic Pigeon fashion, the lovably emotional bird relates the unfairness of it all through a hilarious monologue until finally exploding in clenched-fist (or, rather, clenched-wing) anger. But every pigeon has his day, for the duckling offers him the cookie (never mind that Duckling doesn't like nuts), and he accepts the gift with gracious humility. Confident, un-ornamented strokes characterize Willems's seemingly simple illustrations. Postures and expressions are spot-on, conveying the nuances of Pigeon's feelings and the comedy in his passionate behavior. While just plain fun to read aloud, this book is an excellent conversation starter on the topics of politeness and making reasonable requests. This meta-tale that references the gamut of the Pigeon oeuvre will please fans and newcomers alike.—Jayne Damron, Farmington Community Library, MICopyright 2012 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.