A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Shows the kinds of things kids encounter at school: numbers. letters, backpacks, finger paint, books, a playground, and identifies common worries: What if I don't like school? What if the teacher doesn't like my kind? "What will the other birds think of me?" What will happen at school?"
It's OK to be scared of a new experience. Teachers will help you learn things. There will be others at school to work and play with.
Positive Role Models
Pigeon starts out resistant and thinks he knows everything, but comes around to the idea that there will be things to learn at school and it could actually be fun. He also admits he's scared, modeling that it's OK to feel and express your feelings.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Mo Willem's The Pigeon HAS to Go to School! features the beloved star of Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! and other funny picture books. This one captures the kinds of anxieties a kid can feel about going to school for the first time: What if I don't like it? What if the teacher doesn't like me? The story is silly and relatable, and the illustrations are a kick as they emphasize the bird's fretting and his one giant eye.
Is It Any Good?
This rollicking, funny take on first-day-of-school jitters gets at the fears and concerns kids have that can make them not want to go at all. The Pigeon HAS to Go to School! identifies so many worries -- from heavy backpacks to finger paint that might stick to his feathers to getting a teacher who doesn't like pigeons -- and they all get the zany Mo Willems touch, while respecting kids' real anxieties.
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.