Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Ages: 4 – 7 years

I remember being really nervous on the first day of school …

So nervous in fact, that I told my mom I had a belly ache and couldn’t possibly start school today.

Fortunately, she knew it was just the first day of school butterflies, and held my hand all the way to the classroom door … where I proceeded to hide behind her legs.

Decades later, I don’t remember exactly what I was nervous about …

However, after reading The Pigeon has to go to School by Mo Willems, and laughing aloud at the little blue pigeon’s fears, I suspect it was just a general fear of the unknown.

And of course, I realized pretty quickly that Grade 1 was a whole lot of fun!

The Pigeon Has to Go to School deals with the fear and anxiety of attending school for the first time … and it is laugh out loud hilarious!

‘’Wait! Don’t read that title!’’ the little blue pigeon says on the first page.

‘’Too late …. Rats’’

Pigeon questions the need for school, announcing …

‘’I already know everything!’’

You can feel and see the bird’s panic rising as he starts to question the idea of going to school.

‘’What if I don’t like it.  What if I really, really don’t like it’’

‘’What if …. What if the teacher doesn’t like pigeons?’’

Pigeon worries that he might learn to much, that his head might pop off, that there will be math, and what the other birds will think of him.

‘’I’m scared.  What will happen at school?’’

He thinks aloud that there should be a place to practice these things.  With experts, books, classrooms and other birds to work and play with.

‘’Oh. That is school’’ he realizes.

His thought process changes and when he sees the bright yellow school bus, he completely forgets his fears.

‘’Step aside.  Coming through. The pigeon has to go to school!’’

Much like the other books in the pigeon series, Mo Willems has illustrated this one in his simple yet hilarious manner.  There is no background to clutter the images, just the pigeon and his extremely dramatic thought process.

The Pigeon Has to Go to School deals with the fear and anxiety of attending school for the first time … and somehow makes it all seem OK.  This book is laugh out loud hilarious!


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