A Black girl sits next to her mom and dad on a couch, all smiling. She is pointing at a smartphone that they are looking at together.

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Parents' Guide to

A Little Pigeon Toad

By Peter Lewis, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 4+

Tongue-in-cheek tale might misjudge its audience.

Book Fred Gwynne Words 1990
A Little Pigeon Toad Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

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Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

The major drawback to this chucklefest is the discrepancy between those who will enjoy Gwynne's ingenuous visual humor and those who will understand the words or expressions he's punning. Youngsters will be amused by a plant draped with firearms, for example. But will they understand -- or even want to understand -- the difference between pistols and pistils? And what percentage of the four-year-old population is going to crack a smile at the picture of a girl sewing banners and the accompanying text: "In Sunday School they say when you are bad you should do pennants"?

With younger kids, you can expect this book to generate little interest -- or a lot of questions -- and therein lies its strength: as a provocation to delve into the suppleness of language and the joys of wordplay. Older kids who can be convinced to give it a look are often delighted.

Book Details

  • Author: Fred Gwynne
  • Illustrator: Fred Gwynne
  • Genre: Words
  • Book type: Non-Fiction
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: June 1, 1990
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 4 - 7
  • Number of pages: 32
  • Last updated: July 12, 2017

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