Updated: Jan 1

Every Friday I let my class decide on their favourite book of the week to review. This week is the turn of ‘Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late’, written and illustrated by Mo Willems. And I have to say, it’s a corker ...

The simple narrative, told completely through speech bubbles, follows the story of a Pigeon, who is desperate not to go to bed, despite being (not so!) secretly tired. In his futile attempts to convince you that he really isn’t tired, he thinks up all sorts of imaginative suggestions to distract, persuade and manipulate the reader in order to stay up late.

Fancy counting the stars? What about a hot dog party? Pleaseeee?

Unfortunately for him, his attempts don’t work! The book is full to the brim with humour and personality, and as a result can be read with so much expression and intonation – I find a new way to read it every time.

Teaching Ideas

There are three excellent learning opportunities to be gained from the book. Primarily, the book is packed full of persuasive language. In fact, I couldn’t think of a better book for introducing this style of writing. The Pigeon pleads, flatters and down-right begs to stay up, with each act of persuasion becoming more outrageous. My class were chomping at the bit to write their persuasive letters after we had explored the language in this book.

Secondly, the book is told solely through the use of speech bubbles. It is a fantastic text for exploring how to articulate a character’s thoughts and how to punctuate a speech bubble correctly.

Finally, the book is full of exclamation marks. If you were teaching how and when to correctly use them, it would be a brilliant text to introduce this.

One of my favourite things about this book is that it is really easy for children to join in. The text is big, bold and easy to read, so not only can they follow along as you read, but I also had many of them reading it independently, using just as much expression as I did.

But the best thing about this book? There are several different titles. ‘Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!’ is another firm favourite, and we are excitedly awaiting the delivery of 'The Pigeon Wants a Hotdog!'

What's your #fridayfavourite?

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