How To Throw A Great Book Themed Play Date with The Pigeon Needs A Bath

How To Host A Book Themed Play DateI get asked often to host little events for brands or book releases but it’s rare that I find one that I think is a good fit for No Time For Flash Cards. This time when the offer to share Mo Willem’s new book came into my inbox I jumped at it. We love Mo Willems and getting to share his brand new book The Pigeon Needs a Bath! with our friends online and in real life was a perfect fit. I decided to turn it into a fun little after preschool play date to promote not only friendship but a love of reading too. For once I am in some pictures thanks to my friend Catie from Catie’s Photography offering to help shoot the play date for me. This post and party were sponsored by Disney-Hyperion and contain affiliate links.

pigeon needs a bath

1. Get Their Attention

When you are trying to gather kids attention late in the day a great way to do that is to combine snack time with listening. We handed out fruit, cheese and drinks and then mini cupcakes at the pigeon party 3

2. Share The Book In A Fun Way

We had a little friendly competition between two favorite Pigeon books. As soon as we got settled with the food I explained we were going to see if this brand new book was as good or even better than the other Pigeon books. I made a little voting booth and got settled in to read.

The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog! was funny. There were some giggles for sure.pigeon reading 2

But it was not as funny as The Pigeon Needs A Bath. The kids were laughing out loud as I read.reading pigeon party

What I love about play dates like this is that reading becomes special.

3. Make Something Inspired By The Book.pigeon craft

We made bookmarks. How appropriate! These Pigeon bookmarks were a cinch to make and the kids had fun gluing them together. I loved seeing all the slight variations. I chose a bookmark because my whole goal was to make reading special. This bookmark can be used for reading or for children this young used to tag a book they want to read that night. My daughter chooses her bedtime books every night and now she can tag which one she wants to read by popping the bookmark in it and setting it on her room.

pigeon needs a bath craft craft

Here is the step by step- clearly photographed by me

Gather your materials. You will need some blue , brown, yellow and white paper. You will also need googly eyes, scissors, a hole punch, some raffia ribbon, glue stick and crayons.

Start by cutting out a blue rectangle and a smaller brown one. Glue them together.
Next cut out a small yellow beak . Then cut out a circle, long skinny rectangle and semi circle from the blue paper. Glue them together on the brown to make a pigeon bookmark


Add an eye and a white strip of paper on his neck.
Add legs and a wing with crayon or markers.
Punch a hole in the top for the to make a pigeon bookmark for kids

Add the raffia and get that pigeon dirty by coloring all over!how to make a pigeon needs a bath bookmark

4. Send Them On Their Way With More To Read!

I was fortunate enough to have the publisher provide books for all my guests, I don’t think I could have afforded to do that. There are inexpensive ways to send each child home with a book like hitting up Goodwill, the dollar store or asking each guest to bring a book to exchange. I do think that this step is important and such a great way to focus on what a gift reading and books are.pigeon favors

This was our first book play date but I know there will be more in the future. You can learn more about all the Pigeon Series here , check out Mo Willems’s blog here, and yes The Pigeon is even on Twitter!

As mentioned above this post and party were sponsored by Disney-Hyperion


Author Showcase : Mo Willems

by Carrie Anne
Today I will Fly
M-M-May means M-M-Mo. Mo Willems
I love children’s books, all sorts of children’s books, but some of my favorites seem to be written by the same author. I wrote about our collection of books by Lauren Child we have in our home library. This month I wanted to talk about another favorite author: Mo Willems. His stories are fun and his illustrations simple. It was hard, but I was able to pick a few of our favorites to share with you.

Today I Will Fly! (An Elephant and Piggie Book)

age 4-6

Elephant Gerald is cautious and a little pessimistic. Piggie is optimistic and somewhat reckless. And the two of them are best friends. Piggie has decided today is the day she will fly. Gerald knows pigs can’t fly but that doesn’t deter Piggie and maybe her persistence will pay off. I love that the illustrations focus just on Elephant and Piggie on a white backdrop. This keeps the focus on the characters and doesn’t clutter up the page with extraneous elements. The clean and simple images also make it easy for the text to stand out, great for beginning readers. The words are simple and repeated throughout the story. My kids love the antics and back-and-forth conversations between Elephant and Piggie; they respect each others differences and it’s these differences that make them great together. Today I Will Fly is just one book in the growing Elephant and Piggie series.

Edwina, The Dinosaur Who Didn’t Know She Was Extinct

age 4-6
Everyone loves Edwina; everyone except Reginald Van Hoobie-Doobie. Perhaps it’s because Edwina is a dinosaur and Reginald knows that dinosaur’s are extinct. He decides to educate everyone on this fact but no matter what he does, no one seems to listen to him; no one except Edwina. From flyers to a one-man-band, my kids love what Reginald does to try and get people to listen to his ‘Dinosaurs are extinct’ message. I love that the one person Reginald has an issue with (Edwina) is the one who helps him understand his real issue; he just wants people to listen to him.
naked mole rat

Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed

age 3-7
When you start this story you are told 3 things about naked mole rats, one of which is they are all naked, except Wilbur. Wilbur loves clothes. He loves how he looks and how different clothes enable him to express his varying personalities and moods. The other naked mole rats are shocked by this behaviour. After many attempts to convince Wilbur to shed his clothes, the naked mole rats seek help from the Grand-pah, the oldest and wisest naked mole rat. A proclamation is made but it’s not what anyone is expecting. Similar to Willem’s other animal character books, the animals are the main focus without adding to much background (just the pale pink naked colour of the mole rats). There is more text in this story than Willem’s other books but the placement and font usage makes it interesting on the page. The story isn’t so much about wearing (or not wearing) clothing but rather sticking by your convictions and questioning what people do around you. This is a great book to encourage kids to have courage and belief in themselves and others will follow.
cat the cat who is that

Cat the Cat, Who Is That?

age 3-5
Cat Cat is you guessed it, a cat. She travels through the pages of the book introducing us to her friends: Mouse Mouse, Duck Duck, Fish Fish. Then she meets someone she doesn’t know, but not for long. Cat Cat has a new friend. This is a new series from Willems. The illustrations again focus on the characters without adding a lot of background imagery, though these images have a different feel than Willems other work. I think it’s because the colours are brighter primary colours versus the muted pastels I’m use to seeing. The text is basic and large and repeated on the pages which is great for beginner readers. My 3-year-old loves to ‘read’ this story now to her siblings.
Carrie Anne  is a writer, editor and mom of three young kids.  Read more book reviews and other views on her blog Another Day. Another thought …or two.