Jacey’s Epic Love of Picture Books: #19!

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, by Mo Willems.

It’s a fact: Everything Mo Willems touches is gold. Everything.

Realistically, I could have just done a review of every single one of his books for this little project, but that seemed a bit unfair. :P Instead, I somehow managed to narrow it down to two — one from his Pigeon series, and one from Elephant and Piggie.

If you’re at all familiar with the Pigeon already, you’ll understand why we’re starting with him first. This bird doesn’t let anything stand in his way, you see. Not rules. Not bathtime. Not bedtime.

And certainly not a lack of a driver’s license.

Pigeon wants pretty much everything, and in this particular book, Pigeon wants to drive the bus. And he refuses to take no for an answer.

The book opens with the bus drive addressing the reader: “Hi! I’m the bus drive. Listen, I’ve got to leave for a little while, so can you watch things for me until I get back? Thanks. Oh, and remember: Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus.”

The Pigeon, of course, wastes no time and immediately tries to seize his chance.

At first, he asks politely. He bargains. He tries to scheme. He “reasons.” (“My cousin Herb drives a bus almost every day!”) He attempts to bargain and “reason” some more. (“What’s the big deal!? It’s just a bus!!!”)

Then he pouts. Then he has a rather epic two-page spread of a meltdown. And pouts some more.

But then, the driver reappears, and Pigeon’s hopes are finally dashed. Or…are they?

(Spoiler: No. Never.)

Pigeon, honestly, is quite possibly one of my very favourite characters in all of Kids’ lit. Largely because his facial expressions alone are God’s gift to sass, and the sass just never stops.

(Also, because my head somehow automatically associates Pigeon with birdsrightsactivist, and that makes me love him even more.)


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