Even the youngest child likes a story with a little excitement before falling asleep. Mo Willem's series of "pigeon" books offers humor and a bit of drama with each book. The pigeon is drawn as a simple cartoon with plenty of personality although no clothes. The theme of each book is similar. The pigeon wants to do something it knows in its heart it should not do. Whether driving a bus, staying up late, or refusing to share its hot dog with a duckling, the pigeon thinks of multiple excuses for avoiding the inevitable. In DON'T LET THE PIGEON STAY UP LATE it asks nicely, pleads, rationalizes, and finally shouts in frustration like a young child having a tantrum: "I'm not tired!" It suggests counting stars, promises early bed tomorrow night, pleads that pigeons don't need much sleep, or that it is midday in China, all to no avail. It is as though the reader in the person of the child is the one who is charged with making sure that the pigeon goes to bed early. The child seems to interact with the pigeon in ordering it to go to bed. The protests continue, but the pigeon starts to yawn until, after trying to stifle a tremendous yawn taking up two pages, the pigeon clutches his stuffed animal bunny and soon falls asleep. As the book closes, it is hoped and expected that the child is ready to follow the pigeon's example and also go to sleep early.
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