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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Mentions some basics of "Santa stuff": wrapping presents, stuffing them in a big sack and delivering them by a sleigh pulled by reindeer, filling Christmas stockings hung by the fireplace, being jolly, and eating cookies and milk left out for him. There's a nod to the Easter Bunny delivering a basket of dyed eggs, though that holiday is not named. Some advanced vocabulary: "plumage," "naughty," "humbug," "clutch," "miracle."
"Happy holidays! Festive feathers & peaceful plumage! Jingle bells! Season's greetings! Joy!"
Positive Role Models
The pigeon portrays himself as helpful and competent: "I can do Santa stuff! ... I CAN BE JOLLY!" But he also gets frustrated and demanding: "LET ME DRIVE THE SLEIGH!!!" And he gets scared when he realizes a big reindeer pulls the sleigh. Santa trusts readers to watch the sleigh for him when he has to step away to wrap some presents.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Sleigh is a cute, funny holiday book, the 10th in a series by author/illustrator Mo Willems that began with Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus. As always, the pigeon is full of feelings -- confident, demanding, frustrated, and maybe a little scared -- just like a real kid! This is a great choice for a lively holiday read starring a favorite character.
Is It Any Good?
Mo Willems brings out the best and the funniest in his beloved character in this jolly holiday offering, mixing sarcasm and giggles to make this series addition a winner. It's amazing what a range of emotions he can portray with the bird's face only in profile, revealing just one eye. And he conveys holiday attire and spirit with just one elf hat (with jingle bell) atop the pigeon's feathered head.
Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Sleigh has plenty of laughs for adult readers, too. Like the license plate on Santa's sleigh that reads "HOX3" (as in "Ho ho ho") and the pigeon's curiosity about how to drive the sleigh: "Where's the clutch?" For kids, the pigeon's frustration at not getting what he wants will be most relatable and funny on the page. A perfect holiday read.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.