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Review of The Duckling Gets a Cookie!?

The Duckling Gets a Cookie!?The Duckling Gets a Cookie!?
by Mo Willems; illus. by the author
Preschool    Hyperion    40 pp.
4/12    978-1-4231-5128-9    $15.99

In this seventh Pigeon book — the first in four years (The Pigeon Wants a Puppy! rev. 7/08) — the Duckling asks politely for a cookie and gets one: “Thanks! That was very nice of you!” No fuss, no drama. Enter the Pigeon. Shocked — shocked! — that the Duckling “got a cookie with nuts just by asking,” the Pigeon sets off on one of his trademark egocentric tirades. “I ask for things ALL THE TIME!…But do I get what I ask for?” Of course, “It’s NOT fair” and “Ducklings get everything!” Kids will undoubtedly be familiar with the Pigeon’s strong emotions, but here they aren’t the ones out of control, which makes the gentle lesson in behavior as sweet as a cookie. The Pigeon’s rant comes to a screeching halt when the Duckling generously offers him the treat; the now-contrite Pigeon is rendered almost speechless. Simple speech-balloon text, animated illustrations, and a clean design continue to be a successful formula for Willems’s brand of storytelling. The Pigeon may not get the Duckling’s message about manners and unselfishness, but young listeners will. And when they demand this book again, they just might ask politely. Have cookies ready…please.

From the March/April 2012 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

About Kitty Flynn

Kitty Flynn is consulting editor for The Horn Book, Inc.

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