The Pigeon Needs a Bath! by Mo Willems


The Pigeon Needs a Bath


We have featured ‘The Pigeon Needs a Bath’ on our website a long time ago, but we’re revisiting it this week because our current Level 2 Brilliant Boxes includes some activities that relate specifically to this text. It’s also a bit of an old favourite here at The Sunshine Collective!

There are a whole bunch of ‘Pigeon’ books by Mo Willems, but The Pigeon Needs a Bath is the first one The Sunshine Collective family came across and is still our favourite.


The Pigeon needs a bath! It’s been a while since his last wash, and, basically, he stinks! The problem is, the Pigeon really doesn’t want one.

Why I love it:

The arguments raised by the Pigeon in an effort to avoid having a bath are brilliant and this is actually a fantastic book for teaching persuasive writing or speaking. The Pigeon Needs a Bath reminds me so much of my daughter, every time I tell her the bath is ready. The book, however, is hysterical (I don’t laugh so much when my daughter tries it on!). This is a light-hearted and humorous book with plenty of giggles for the kids and the adults.

Themes to discuss with your child:

As stated above, The Pigeon Needs a Bath is terrific for teaching persuasive writing, and therefore one of the possible discussions you could have with your child would be about how to argue a point of view – something I’m sure many of your cherubs are already quite talented at.

You could also discuss the concepts of:

  • sometimes just having to do things we don’t really want to do
  • peer pressure
  • how things we are dreading often turn out to be fine, or much better than fine

Questions to ask your child:

Before reading:
  • What do you think this book might be about?
  • Do you think this is a fiction book (a story) or a non-fiction book (facts)?
  • What can you tell from the Pigeon’s body language in the cover picture?
  • Do you think the Pigeon wants a bath? What makes you think this?
  • Tell me one word to describe what you think this book will be like.
After reading:
  • How did the Pigeon feel about baths at the start of the book?
  • How did the Pigeon feel about baths at the end of the book?
  • Have you ever changed your mind about something once you’ve tried it? Tell me about it.
  • List three arguments the Pigeon made to try to get out of having a bath.
  • List two signs that told you the Pigeon really did need a bath.
  • How can you tell the Pigeon is loving the bath at the end of the story?
  • What is something you always try to get out of doing?

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