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Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! Hardcover – January 1, 2003
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|Back in 1993, I was cartooning for a ’zine. Due to a lack of other material, we decided to make the December issue a sketchbook with just my cartoons. I have been producing small cartoon and story sketchbooks for clients and pals every year since then.||In 1998, my sketchbook featured a new character, the Pigeon. Born in the margins of a 1997 notebook filled with potential picture book ideas, he was complaining that his ideas were better than mine. To mollify him, I put him in that year’s sketchbook.||The original sketchbook was much longer than the final published volume, but some of the lines were the same.|
|In late 1999, an agent essentially agreed with the Pigeon and rejected my picture book ideas. She suggested I revisit my sketchbook with an eye to turning it into a picture book. My wife was working at a school library at the time and had read the sketchbook to her kids, who had enjoyed it. So I suppose it wasn’t too crazy an idea. I started to revise the layout and work with color.||At the end of 2001, after several dozen rejections because the book was “unusual,” an editor decided that “unusual” was a good thing. Plus, it made her laugh. I began reworking and rewriting. The Pigeon was now starting to look more like his mature self.||Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! was published in April 2003 and, to my surprise, proved to be popular quite quickly. Thankfully, that Pigeon doodle in the notebook back in 1997 was so insistent. He was right!|
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Though we're giving this book to our 2 year old grandson on his birthday, I wish I'd had it when I was full-time babysitting our 4-1/2 year old grandson at that age! Just love him to pieces, all of that spunk and fire, but - out of our three grandsons - he's the one who seemed to be "pushing the limits" from Day 1! This is an interactive type of book, beginning with a bus driver telling your child that he has to leave for a bit, asking that your child keep an eye on things while he's gone and to - above all - "Don't let the Pigeon drive the bus!" Now what child isn't going to be immediately drawn into a book that puts HIM/HER in charge?!
Throughout the book (with VERY simple, pale illustrations - not a lot of busyness on each page), the Pigeon looks directly at and speaks directly to your child, using all of the methods of pleading to get your little person to give in to letting him drive the bus that he/she might typically use to try to get his/her way with YOU (i.e."Please?", "I never get to do anything!", "How 'bout I give you five bucks?", "No fair!", etc.) The Pigeon finally resorts to throwing a physical and verbal tantrum... "LET ME DRIVE THE BUS!!!" and then sulks when he's still not allowed to. The driver returns, thanks your child, and then it ends with a big semi-trailer arriving, the Pigeon eyeing it and saying, "Hey...", ready to begin the whole scenario again - as children will do!
This is a silly little book where it'll be interesting to watch your child's reaction to having the tables turned!
His books are funny, engaging, entertaining, and just long enough to have content without overwhelming our toddler.
If you’re on the fence about any Mo Willems books, just get them. You won’t regret it!!
Top international reviews
The style of the bus driver and pigeon talking directly to the reader is quite unlike anything else I have read to my class as a teacher - and now parent.
I think some people just don’t get the brilliance because it’s a different kind of thing but they’re missing out because it’s hilarious! 😀
We are in our mid-thirties and I can simply say this book is not just for kids! I would say this is the best book in the 'Pigeon' series but the others are worth a look too!
But anyway, I did buy this originally for me! I'm 28 and I get a kick out of it, especially putting on "the pigeon voice" whilst reading it aloud with children and even my girlfriend has found great delight in reading the Pigeon books (I'm keeping an eye on them so they don't "mysteriously disappear"!). Little children, as others have found, love to get involved and feel as if the Pigeon is talking with them - especially telling the Pigeon he can't do something makes them giggle all the more!
So yes, despite my minor quibble, "Don't Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus!" is well worth the five stars and, provided it doesn't get ripped to shreds, will provide a great deal of laughter for all involved!
Would highly recommend for big hearty laughs and calls of 'Again' at the end of the story.
Mo Willems really understands children.
I have bought it and many others of Mo's for my grandchildren who love them.
So did I
I bought the whole series