Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog!

Willems, Mo (Author/Illustrator)
Disney/Hyperion Books 2004. 36 pages
First published: 2004
ISBN: 9780786818693 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character, dialogue, point of view

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

A pigeon is overjoyed when he finds a hot dog, but just as he is about to take the first delicious bite, a duckling arrives on the scene, incessantly asking questions and offering glib comments (e.g. “Is that a hot dog?” and “Would you say that it tastes like chicken?”) Told entirely through dialogue, this humorous, fast-paced read-aloud focuses on the mounting tension between the two characters, with the pigeon getting more and more frazzled with every innocent question uttered by the duckling.

Their clashing personalities are further depicted through the fonts: the pigeon’s larger, angrier voice is enclosed in a white speech bubble which grows along with his frustration while the duckling’s patient, gentle voice floats on the page in a smaller, rounder font. While the duckling never directly asks for a bite, he finally convinces the pigeon to share the hot dog. The deceptively simple artwork consists of a soft colour palette and a pair of cartoon figures outlined in black crayon, each with a single large eyeball that deftly expresses emotion.

This multi-purpose book could prompt discussions about sharing or provide an example of authentic dialogue between characters.

  •  

    Explain how the duckling outsmarts the pigeon.

  •  

    Brainstorm a list of colloquial expressions like: “Finders, keepers . . .”

  •  

    Create a debating jar. Pick a What would you do if . . . card and discuss the pros and cons of your choices.

  •  

    Discuss what messages are conveyed through the pigeon’s body language and facial expressions. Discuss the effectiveness of the various text bubbles and text sizes.

  •  

    Discuss the illustrations, particularly the pigeon and duck’s facial expressions. What do they want to say?

  •  

    Explain how the duckling outsmarts the pigeon.

  •  

    Look at the words and expressions used in the book. Make an anchor chart to remember them; practise using them in your conversations.

  •  

    Retell the story using a different argument.

  • To communicate appropriately
  • To cooperate with others
  • Citizenship and Community Life