Booklist Reviews

PreS. In this follow-up to Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus [BKL S 1 03], the wheedling pigeon with the short fuse meets his match. "Oooooh! A hot dog!" he cries, as he zooms in for a landing on the first page. Before he can enjoy his scavenged treat, though, a little duckling scuttles over and begins asking numerous questions: "Is that a 'hot dog'?" "What do they taste like?" The pigeon loses his temper in a wing-flapping rant before the duckling innocently suggests that they share the dog, thus sparing the pigeon the frustration of having to explain the taste. Share it they do, but the pigeon knows he has been had: "You know, you're pretty smart for a duckling." Once again, Willems uses artistic minimalism (each page shows only the birds and the hot dog, rendered in basic lines) and spare, hilarious dialogue to convey surprisingly realistic emotions. Preschoolers who recognized themselves in the tantrum-throwing pigeon of the previous title will also see themselves in the calm, shrewd duckling that knows just how to get his way. ((Reviewed February 15, 2004)) Copyright 2004 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews

When that hilarious pigeon from [cf2]Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus![cf1] finds a hot dog, he must wrestle with a minor moral dilemma (to share or not to share). Willems is as adept at depicting the daily dramas in a child's life as he is at using subtle changes in line to convey shifting emotions. Copyright 2004 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Horn Book Magazine Reviews

He's baaack! The impetuous pigeon from Willems's Caldecott Honor-winning Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (rev. 7/03) sets his sights here not on a joy ride but on something just as thrilling (for a pigeon): a discarded hot dog. Just as the goggle-eyed scavenger is about to devour this "taste sensation" in a bun, he's interrupted by a little duckling who "scooty scoot scoots" onto the page and asks innocently, "Is that a 'hot dog'?" The pigeon's irritated expression says it all: that duckling (a younger child/sibling stand-in) is horning in on his territory--"Not a hot dog; my hot dog." The hot-headed pigeon humorously wrestles with a minor moral dilemma (to share or not to share) that will immediately resonate with the listening audience. In the end, the not-as-naive-as-he-appears duckling gets what he wants (half the hot dog and the pigeon's respect) while allowing the pigeon to save face--a triumph no matter which bird you identify with. Cartoonist Willems is as adept at depicting the daily dramas in a child's life as he is in using subtle changes in line to convey shifting emotions. The book's clean, minimalist design lets the duckling/pigeon performance take center stage, and the dialogue between the two is played for maximum laughs. Maybe the pigeon's shtick isn't as original this time around, but he's such an engaging character that it's still a treat to see him again. Copyright 2004 Horn Book Magazine Reviews

Kirkus Reviews

The determined pigeon of the Caldecott Honor-winning Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (2003) returns in a more subdued performance that will nevertheless appeal to fans of the first. The pigeon is about to eat the hot dog he's found, when a sly, persevering, small yellow duckling "scooty scoot scoots" up with a series of questions and comments. Willems again expertly captures the personality and emotions of the droll pigeon ("not a hot dog; my hot dog") and the "guest star" duckling, who manages to trick the pigeon into giving him what he wants, taking notes about the taste of a hot dog. "Each morsel is a joy! A celebration in a bun!" says Pigeon. "Does it taste like chicken?" asks the winsome duck. Another tantrum ensues, but the hot dog is split and shared. Duckling tops off his triumph with a complaint that gives him the final word, "Hmm . . . needs mustard." Some readers may feel this tale could also use a bit more mustard, but children who already love the pigeon will be satisfied. (Picture book. 2-8) Copyright Kirkus 2004 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Library Media Connection

Pigeon has found a delicious hot dog and can hardly wait to eat it when along comes a hungry duckling to complicate his impending culinary enjoyment. Pigeon goes through all the selfish emotions known to childhood. He adeptly explains to the duckling that it is not just any hotdog, but his hotdog. The duckling shares the fact that he has never had a hot dog. The cute little duckling uses his tiny voice and clever questions to drive pigeon to scream "THAT'S IT!" Author Mo Willems uses the center double page spread to recap pigeon's selfish emotions. He goes from "It's my hot dog, right!?" to "What am I supposed to do?" The duckling provides an idea and pigeon acknowledges that he is a smart duckling. The illustrations are simple, but mimic the emotional roller coaster pigeon experiences. This hilarious companion book will be greeted with much joy by fans of Willems' earlier Caldecott Honor book, Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (Hyperion Books for Children/Disney Publishing Worldwide, 2003). Willems has won six Emmy Awards for his writing on Sesame Street and he obviously knows his audience. The simplicity of his illustrations is as appealing to children as his story about sharing their favorite food with someone smaller. This title is a great read aloud. Highly Recommended. Sandra Lee, Teacher/Librarian, Mary Institute St. Louis (Missouri) Country Day School © 2004 Linworth Publishing, Inc.

Publishers Weekly Reviews

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.

School Library Journal Reviews

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.