Mo Willems Pigeon Books

Mo Willems Pigeon books will bring laughter and fun to your reading experience along with important lessons.  Preschoolers and older will understand Pigeon's perspective and identify with his thoughts and emotions.  

Don't Let the Pigeon Ride the Bus!

The first of Mo Willems Pigeon Books brought home the 2004 Caldecott Honor Medal for its unique and simple illustrations.  It begins...

Hi! I'm the bus driver.

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:


As in each of Mo Willems' Pigeon Books, Pigeon must learn a lesson which is sometimes hard for him to accept.  Does this sound like any of your little ones?

Children will be drawn into this simple tale having fun being the ones to tell Pigeon "NO!" even with all his begging.

Before reading aloud Mo Willems Pigeon Books, take time to read them to yourself first.  Make up voices to use for the the characters such as the bus driver, Duckling and Pigeon.  You may feel silly at first, but trust me, you and your audience will enjoy the read that much more!

Shape Development with Mo Willems Pigeon Books

Intellectual Development

  • Allow kids to tell Pigeon "NO...N-O!" Saying and spelling will remind kids each letter makes a sound and when put together make words they can read.
  • Read aloud to the child first, then go back reading again while allowing your emerging reader to read the words they are able.  
  • This book contains many simple sight words along with CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words such as can, bus, get, etc.  These are easy words to begin sounding out as well as learning names and sounds of letters.  Use these to make new words by changing the first letter - CAN becomes Man, Fan, Tan, etc.

Physical Development

  • Fine Motor Skills

You may not have thought about how a picture book could be used for physical development.  

Drawing and coloring both are great tools to develop fine motor skills!  Mo Willems Pigeon books offer simple steps to actually draw pigeon!

Social Development

Mo Willems' Pigeon books teach a lot about relating to others.

  • Don't Let the Pigeon Ride the Bus could actually be used as a tool to teach young children how to say no to strangers no matter what they may promise.  It also puts them in the position of authority to say "No!" to pigeon.  This may help them relate to when a parent or teacher says "no" and remember the bus driver was trying to protect.
  • Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog teaches a lesson on being thoughtful of others and sharing.  From a young age it is intrinsically within us to want "mine, mine, mine"!

Look beyond the simple text and story to discover ways to teach important lessons in social development.

Emotional Development

  • Through both illustrations and word art, Mo Willems' Pigeon books show Pigeon experiencing a wide range of emotions.  Ask your child how they think Pigeon or Duckling are feeling at different times.  Have them tell you when they may feel the same way. Take time to discuss appropriate ways to manage negative behaviors such as anger and frustration which Pigeon displays.

Spiritual Development

  • Obedience - Have kids think about what could have happened if Pigeon had driven the bus.  Rules made by God and our parents are both made for our protection.

"Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right."  Ephesian 6:1

  • Kindness & Sharing - Pigeon was being selfish with the hot dog he found.  The Bible teaches us it is better to give than receive; sharing and kindness are two ways we can make friends and also walk like Jesus walked.

"Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you."  Ephesians 4:32

"In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35

"whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked." 1 John 2:6

More Mo Willems' Pigeon Books

Discover more Mo Willems Pigeon books with fun ideas @ Pigeon Presents and take the read beyond the book!