Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems- Caldecott Honor Book

March 12, 2011

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems is a humorous story of a little pigeon who has dreams to someday, drive a bus.  The bus driver makes it clear to readers at the beginning of the story, “Whatever you do, don’t let the pigeon drive the bus.”  Children love the interactive style of this book, as they actually get to be the ones to say “No!” as the pigeon begs, pleads, and even tries to trick readers into letting him drive.  The illustrations throughout the book are simple, yet hilarious.  They enhance the story so much, and I am quite sure the story wouldn’t be a favorite of mine if the illustrations were any different.

The first time I ever read this story was back in 2004.  I was an instant fan, as the book made me think back to my childhood days.  My brother, Brandon, actually raised pigeons for several years.  He was (and still is) an animal lover, and pigeons were one of the many animals you could find at our home.  I had never read a book in which the main character was a pigeon, and I found that concept to be quite comical as well as original.

I actually had the pleasure of meeting Mo Willems at the KRA conference in Louisville a few years ago.  He was a keynote speaker at the conference, and he autographed one of his books for me.  I am a huge fan of his!  Other books that he has written/illustrated include Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay up Late, Knuffle Bunny, Leonardo: The Terrible Monster, The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog and Edwina: The Dinosaur who didn’t know she was Extinct.

Image obtained from


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