Monday, February 21, 2011

Don’t let the pigeon drive the bus!

by Mo Willems
2003 / 40 pages

Pigeon desperately wants to drive the bus. But the bus driver, who has to leave for a little while, tells readers before he goes, “Remember, don’t let the pigeon drive the bus!”

The pigeon isn’t going to make it that easy though – for the rest of the book he asks, begs, pleads, whines and sulks about wanting to drive the bus. The drawings are pretty simple cartoons, but the artist lets us see all pigeon’s emotions in his body language. Pigeon uses every excuse you’ve ever heard a child use:

“I never get to do anything!”
“What’s the big deal?”
“I’ll be your best friend!”
“No fair!”
“I bet your mom would let me.”

That, of course, is the point of the book, that no matter how inventive a child’s questioning – his whining – might become, no is still going to be no.

That’s an important lesson for any child to learn, and this is a fun way for them to learn it. Parents will enjoy reading the book out loud, mimicking the pigeon’s angst and frustration, and kids will enjoy just how silly the pigeon acts. And it will only take a little prodding from mom or dad to have junior realize that sometimes he acts silly too, just like pigeon.

I’d recommend getting the hardcover version of this book because I think your children will ask you to read it again and again. And that’s not too bad, because it is a fast read; there are only about 175 words in the whole book, which means this review is actually just a little bit longer than the book!

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