Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus (Caldecott Honor), Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late and The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog by Mo Willems
We have had a blast the last week reading these books. These are probably the funniest and most addictive picture books I've ever read. I read them aloud to the 7yo and he just couldn't get enough. We read each one three or four times in a row at the first reading alone. He is now holding on to them and reading them himself. It is going to be a sad day when they have to be returned to the library!
...Drive the Bus and ...Stay Up Late are both written to the reader. In "...Drive the Bus" the bus driver asks us to watch the pigeon and make sure he does not drive the bus while he goes away for a little while. The pigeon then tries every trick in the book to get us to let him drive the bus. Children will immediately see themselves in the pigeon's pleading and wheeling and dealing, as will any parent. In "...Stay Up Late" we are asked to make sure the pigeon does not stay up late while the same man from the first book goes to brush his teeth. If you have ever tried to put a child to bed when they didn't want to go (which is almost always) you will laugh will glee as the pigeon pulls every trick known to anyone who has ever been a child as he tries to stay up just a little bit longer.
The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog is a little bit different. The pigeon is just about to eat a hot dog when a little duckling comes along who has never tasted a hot dog before. This time the joke's on the pigeon as he deals with the duckling's antics as he tries to get a taste and in the end, pigeon learns about sharing.
These books will appeal to a wide range of ages. The text is simple enough for toddler's and the large, simple illustrations will also appeal to them. The reading level is appropriate for up to about Grade 2 and the stories will appeal to anyone of any age. Recommended but watch out because I bet you can't read them just once!