The Pigeon Wants a Puppy: Picture Book Review

Image result for the pigeon wants a puppy

The Pigeon Wants a Puppy by Mo Willems


Willems, Mo. The Pigeon Wants a Puppy. New York: Hyperion Books for Children, 2008. ISBN: 1-4231-0960-0

Plot Summary: 

Pigeon wants a puppy. He imagines all the wonderful things that they would do together and he makes promises to care for his puppy as best he can. But Pigeon learns that what you want isn’t always what you expect it to be, and that sometimes, you might have wished you wanted something completely different.

Critical Analysis:

The one thing that I adore about children’s books is that there is more going on than what appears. That’s what’s going on in this book. It starts off very casual. When Pigeon starts telling you about what he wants, right from the get go, you are very amused. Part of the amusement is due to the anthropomorphism of the pigeon.  Real pigeons don’t talk or desire for pet dogs the way humans do. Another part of the amusement comes from the illustrations. They are simple and very minimalistic, but adorable, and paired with the story can make you laugh. The cadence of the wording and the illustrations flow together to tell this funny story with this endearing and hilarious character. Fun for kids ages 0-100.

Review Excerpt:

From Kirkus Review “Communicates a wide range of emotions through minimal words and a few deft pen strokes that brilliantly bring to life his one-of-a-kind personality.”

From School Library Journal “Willems’s hilariously expressive illustrations and engaging text are cinematic in their interplay. Maybe kids won’t appreciate the genius behind it the way adults will, but that won’t stop them from asking for this book again and again.”

From Booklist “Willems skillfully executes the formula that made previous Pigeon titles so popular: minimal artwork that places all the attention on the cajoling little bird, whose words and body language will strike a chord of familiarity with every child. “


Mo Willems has written numerous books, and The Pigeon Wants a Puppy is not his first adventure with Pigeon. With other titles such as Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay up Late, The Pigeon Needs a Bath, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, and so much more, you can be sure to have fun and hilarious adventures with Pigeon!

There is a teaching guide that was published that provides activities and discussions for children who have read Mo Willems’ books. One in particular for The Pigeon Wants a Puppy engages conversation with children about how you are supposed to take care of your pets.

Use Pinterest to find more crafts and activities to go with your Mo Willems lessons or story times!


Published by

Adrinna Davis

Hello there! Not much to me, I'm just your average author and librarian who is obsessed with Harry Potter, Doctor Who, Sherlock, Merlin, Divergent, ect... who is married with two kids. :) And now blogger. I love children's lit and want to share with you all the amazing books I find!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s