The Duckling Gets a Cookie!?

Book review by
Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media
The Duckling Gets a Cookie!? Book Poster Image
Pigeon goes nuts over not getting a cookie with nuts.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Mainly it's just silly fun, but it does include a lesson in asking politely for what you'd like and saying thank you when you get it. 

Positive Messages

Don't be afraid to ask for what you'd like, but be polite about it.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The pigeon gives in to feelings of jealousy and anger when he feels he's being treated unfairly, but is won over by the duckling who gives his cookie to the pigeon, who thanks him kindly. The duckling appears calm and kind, and is willing to give up the cookie, but he may have a hidden agenda to get what he really wants.

Violence & Scariness

The pigeon has a temper tantrum, complaining that he never gets what he asks for.


What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Duckling Gets a Cookies!? is another gem from Mo Willems, author of the Caldecott Honor Book Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus and Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late. Here the pigeon becomes furious when he thinks he's being treated unfairly -- "Ducklings get everything!" But his meltdown melts when the duckling kindly gives him the disputed cookie -- and asks for another. The pigeon's rant and temper tantrum are played for laughs.

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What's the story?

A cute little yellow duckling appears alone on a blank page and asks politely for a cookie. One with nuts descends from the top of the page and he says, "Thanks!" Then the pigeon from Don't Let Pigeon Drive the Bus and Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late arrives and asks how he got the cookie. The duckling tells him, "I asked for it." At this the pigeon flies into a rant about all his requests that get turned down, including "I ask to drive the bus!" and "I ask to stay up late!" He rails about how unfair it is: "Ducklings get everything." Then the duckling says he got the cookie so he could give it to the pigeon. The pigeon is won over, calms down, and says, "Thank you." Then the duckling asks for another cookie -- without nuts.

Is it any good?

The adorable, big-eyed duckling almost steals the show in THE DUCKLING GETS A COOKIE!?, but there are plenty of laughs in seeing the pigeon enraged when he thinks he's being treated unfairly. Kids with siblings will relate to the terror of feeling that a brother or sister got something they didn't. Amid the silliness and the pigeon's extreme reaction to his perceived unfair treatment, there are sweet messages about politeness, sharing, and expressing your needs directly. And of course, this being a Mo Willems book, there's a little comic twist, as well. The cartoon-like art is simple enough for toddlers to grasp, but imbued with an amazing about of personality and emotion.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what makes the pigeon an appealing character worthy of three picture books. Is it the way he's drawn? Is it his personality?

  • Have you ever felt mad when a brother, sister, or friend got something you didn't get?

  • What's funny about getting mad when you don't get a cookie?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love animals and funny stories

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