Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!

by Mo Willems

Other authorsMo Willems (Illustrator)
Hardcover, 2003


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Hyperion Press (2003), Edition: 1st, Hardcover, 40 pages


When a bus driver takes a break from his route, a very unlikely volunteer springs up to take his place -- a pigeon! But you've never met one like this before. Narrated by Mo Willems and Jon Scieszka with animation by Pete List.

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User reviews

LibraryThing member Jessie_Bear
The bus driver entrusts his audience with a super important task: not to let the pigeon drive the bus, no matter how hard the pigeon tries to convince readers otherwise. Sure enough, pigeon tries every trick in the book to gain access to the bus, providing children with a humorous interactive
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story. The story smartly utilizes minimalism where appropriate, such as the comical set-up and the illustration style. Muted, solid colored back drops surround the pigeon, allowing children to focus on the pigeon’s hilarious expressions, which build into an insane temper tantrum. With thick crayon-like lines, Willems captures the pigeon’s movements, facial expressions, and emotional state. Although simple, the pigeon’s wide range of plots and ploys has led to a character children embrace as well as the creation of several successful sequels. A Caldecott Honor book, Willem’s first Pigeon books deserves a place in every circulating children’s collection. With perhaps the funniest title out there, this book is highly recommended for children ages two to six.
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LibraryThing member KaetlynBrennan
This was a very funny book. The Pigeon wanted to drive the bus so bad that he kept on asking and coming up with bribes to be able to drive the bus when the bus driver was gone. Sadly, the poor Pigeon never got a chance to drive the bus because the Driver came back.

I laughed through this whole book.
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I read it when I was younger, but I didn't get the humor of it.

The children can come up with their own reasons why a pigeon should not be able to drive the bus. Also they can re-write the stories and make it their own.
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LibraryThing member jpeer
A funny book about a bus driver who leaves you in charge of watching his bus and not letting the pigeon drive it no matter how much you pleads or begs. Simple illustrations and simple text so children can begin to follow along in some cases. My preschool class loves this book because they can
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interact with it.
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LibraryThing member juanitaloo
The miminalist style of the illustrations are reminiscent of cartoon stills. Each page shows the next frame in the cartoon. The text of the entire story is shown in speech bubbles. The colors are muted and kept minimal to a few tones. Young children recognize the tricks the pigeon uses to get his
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way as the same ones they use, except this time they are in the parent's seat and have the power to say, "No!"
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LibraryThing member conuly
The pigeon throws all the standard tricks to get you to let him drive the bus, you say no a lot, he doesn't drive the bus, everybody's happy. (Except the pigeon, but he's easily distracted.)

This is weird to say, but we *especially* like the endpapers. Mo Willems has great endpapers in his books.
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The front inside cover shows the pigeon daydreaming about driving a bus, and the last one shows him daydreaming about driving a truck, and for some reason this is The Funniest Thing Ever for the nieces.

This book will tend to hype a kid up. Not recommended for naptime, but definitely great for the more fidgety kids, who get distracted at storytime easily. It *demands* audience participation.
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LibraryThing member blue8444
This is my son's (14 months old) absolute favorite. If I pick it up he comes flying across the room to read it with me. He loves the look of it and the lines, and will even say "uh oh" toward the end when the pigeon does. I don't really know what it is about it, but he's really drawn to it.
LibraryThing member elfchild
Everyone (or nearly everyone) seems to love this book. So, we tried it - and had a visceral negative reaction. We read to our daughter every day. I try hard to stop what I am doing and read to her when she comes toddling up with a book in her hands. For the sake of sanity, we've experimented with
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picture books, particularly rhyming picture books, but really anything with very brief text so we don't go completely mad with repetition. This is NOT behavior we wanted to introduce to our toddler daughter. That said, when she's older and able to understand that the pigeon's behavior is not to be emulated, we might give this another try. maybe.
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LibraryThing member Leshauck
This book will just make you laugh constantly. Good for grades 1-8. I loved it. Simple Art teaching any kid that they can draw
LibraryThing member cmiller05
The Bus Driver asks you, the reader, to watch the bus and not let the pigeon drive. The pigeon shows up and throughout the whole book tries different forms of persuasion to try to get his way.
LibraryThing member aconant05
This is a funny book about a pigeon who tries to convince the reader to allow him to drive the bus.
LibraryThing member nboria05
This book is a great book for early childhood where children learn to interact and say, "no!" Something children really need help with! heehee The pigeon comes up with all sorts of great excuses which can be a good lead in to defending an argument, but mostly, I just think this is a great book for
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children to fall in love with reading for pleasure. I've read this book with very young children up to third grade and they all love it!
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LibraryThing member sharmon05
The style of this book is very unique. The way the author writes the book really brings the reader into the story and makes it as if they were the second character. This really engages readers. This book is a good example of a fantasy, because the main character is a talking pigeon who wants to
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drive a bus.
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LibraryThing member katrinafroelich
The illustrations and dialogue bubbles are uniquely Willem’s style. He captures the Pigeon’s angst, pleading, and eventual tantrum with incredible wit and expression. I particularly enjoy the lost feathers scattered about after a massive tantrum. He also uses dramatic surprise as the bus pulls
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away the next opportunity (a truck) arrives.
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LibraryThing member GI142984
The Bus driver has to leave for a little while and asks the reader not to let the pigeon drive the bus. Throughout the story the pigeon tries persuade the reader to let him drive the bus, but the reader knows better right? He goes on trying to trick the reader and starts to have a fit, because the
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reader will not let him drive the bus!

This was such a cute book, and the children I read it to loved to scream NO! The illustrations are great and the poor pigeon is so crazy. I love how the book draws the children’s attention because they can be involved through out the story.

In the classroom students can draw their own animal that is trying to persuade them to do something. Another fun activity would be to let the students draw what would have happened if the pigeon did get to drive the bus!
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LibraryThing member libby.gorman
An AWESOME book for participatory read-alouds, and just plain fun.
LibraryThing member GWES.Second
An impulsive pigeon tries to convince and coerce the reader into letting him drive a bus.
LibraryThing member jamie_tow
Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! is a interactive book. The pigeon try to convince the children or reader to let him drive the bus after the driver has left the bus in the capable hands of the childen or reader. In the beginning the pigeon simply ask if he can drive the bus. Soon he becomes less
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patient after he's told "NO" again and again. He try to reason, bride, eventually getting a bad attitude, sulking, moping and finally throwing a full tantrum. Afterwards, the bus driver comes back, the pigeon knowing he's in trouble, leaves all sad just in time to see a big red eighteen wheele truck. He finally perks up and start to fantasizing about driving the big red truck.

This book wonderful written brings this story true to life. Throughout the book the children will keep their interest, which causes the children to interact saying "NO" throughout the story. My children in my class really got into the role of not allowing the pigeon drive the bus.

Extended Activity/Tool: This funny book can be the best way to teach children that sometimes it's important to say no, over and over again. Teaching a child how to say no and how to recognize when somebody else is manipulating you to try and get you to say yes, is one of the most valuable social lessons possible for anyone.
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LibraryThing member kyoder06
Age Appropriateness: Primary
Media: Pen and Ink
Genre: Modern Fantasy

This is an obvious modern fantasy story because we see that the main character is a pigeon who has human characteristics. This pigeon speaks English and talks directly to the reader and desires to drive a bus, both of which are
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impossible. I think that having the main character as a pigeon who wants to drive is a great one to get kids’ attention. They would find it funny and get into the story. Even though the pigeon is basically the only character, the author does a great job of making the story and plot interesting. Since the pigeon talks directly to the reader, they can’t help but get involved. I think students would love to respond to it.
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LibraryThing member reneefletcher
This is a story about a persistent pigeon who will not take no for an answer. Before the story even starts the bus driver warns the readers about the pigeon. Throughout the story the persistent pigeon begs, bribes, and bullies the reader into letting him drive the bus. Of course, the reader has
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been warned, and he never gives in to the pigeon. In the end the pigeon finds a new object of his dreams.
When I first found this book, I was not impressed because the cover and color scheme were not appealing to me, but as I read the story I changed my opinion. Even though the colors and the pictures are simple, they help define the main character, the pigeon, as simple-minded. They also help set the tone of the story by reinforcing the simplicity of making the “right choice”.
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus could be used in a Pre-k or kindergarten class as a lead-in to class talk time on peer pressure and making good choices. It also, could be use as an introduction to school bus safety by posing the question, “Would you want to ride on a bus driven by the pigeon?”
It is a highly interactive book, so it might be a good book to use in a small group reading center where students take turns being the teacher. As the “teacher” reads the story (from memory and looking at the pictures) the students answers the questions posed by the pigeon.
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LibraryThing member Riley1878
I think that kids will really like this book, plus there are other books about the Pigeon and I think that kids will like the other pigeon books.
LibraryThing member crystalr
Good book to use for teaching childrens fun writting and grammer! It also allows the students to interact with the book and the character while reading
LibraryThing member cvyork
A book in which pigeon speaks to the reader! Very entertaining book, but the plot does not evolve as much as it does in 'Pigeon wants Puppy'. Actually there really is not much plot at all, but it does mirror a child's thought and actions. That was the redeeming quality. This may be Mo Willems worst
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that I've read!
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LibraryThing member dylantanner
A conniving pigeon tries to get behind the wheel of a city bus.

Children's picture book

Who doesn't love the Pigeon. Kids freak out. They get to say NO!

This is a great read along. I read it to 20 three year-olds and they lost it. Once they get a chance to yell, there is no stopping them.
LibraryThing member francescadefreitas
Hilarious, with lots of opportunities for kids to participate reading along. This is a simple story, a bus driver asks the reader to not let the pigeon drive the bus, and the pigeon pleads desperately to drive.
I'm not sure that kids will laugh at the pigeon's pleas for the same reasons that I did,
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but the idea of a pigeon driving the bus is amusing enough to make the story enjoyable.
On the second last page I though the pigeon was done for, but the ending was happy.
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LibraryThing member Bookwormeater
Kids would really like this interactive book about a bus driver leaving the fate of the bus in your hands. Your not suppose to let the pigeon drive the bus. The pigeon begs and throws a fit, but you don't let him. So, the pigeon get's the idea of being a 18-wheeler driver.


Caldecott Medal (Honor Book — 2004)
Georgia Children's Book Award (Finalist — Picturebook — 2007)
Kentucky Bluegrass Award (Nominee — Grades K-2 — 2005)
Red Clover Book Award (Nominee — 2005)
Buckaroo Book Award (Winner — 2005)
Indies Choice Book Award (Picture Book Hall of Fame — 2009)
BILBY: Books I Love Best Yearly (Early Readers — 2015)
Charlotte Zolotow Award (Highly Commended Title — 2004)
Golden Archer Award (Nominee — Primary — 2005)
Flicker Tale Award (Nominee — Picture Books — 2005)
3 Apples Book Award (Winner — Young Readers — 2010)
South Carolina Book Awards (Nominee — Picture Book Award — 2006)


Original publication date


Physical description

40 p.; 9.25 inches


078681988X / 9780786819881


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