Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! is a children’s picture book written and illustrated by Mo Willems. It was first published in 2003 and has since become a beloved classic in children’s literature. The book follows the story of a pigeon who desperately wants to drive a bus and tries to convince the readers to let him have a turn.

The Story

The story begins with the bus driver asking the readers, “Hey, can I ask you a favor? Don’t let the pigeon drive the bus!” However, as soon as the bus driver leaves, the mischievous pigeon shows up and starts pleading with the readers to give him a chance to drive the bus. The pigeon tries various tactics, from begging to making promises, but the readers are encouraged not to give in to his persistent requests.

The story features the pigeon’s hilarious attempts to convince the readers, as he becomes more and more desperate. He argues that he is responsible, capable, and even suggests that he will be careful and not get into any trouble. The pigeon’s antics and persuasive strategies make for an entertaining and engaging read.

Awards and Acclaim

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! has received numerous awards and accolades since its publication. It won the prestigious Caldecott Honor in 2004, which recognizes excellence in children’s picture books. The book was also a New York Times Bestseller and has been translated into multiple languages, reaching a wide audience across the globe.

The book has been praised for its simple and engaging narrative, as well as its vibrant and expressive illustrations. It has become a favorite among young readers, parents, and educators for its ability to capture the imagination and spark conversations about responsibility and decision-making.

Key Characters

While the main character of the story is the persistent and determined pigeon, there are no other named characters in the book. The readers themselves become active participants in the story as they are directly addressed by the bus driver and confronted by the pigeon’s pleas.

The pigeon’s expressive facial expressions and body language make him a relatable and lovable character. Young readers often find themselves giggling at his antics and rooting for him to fulfill his desire to drive the bus.


In conclusion, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! is a delightful and humorous children’s picture book that captivates readers with its engaging story and expressive illustrations. It has received critical acclaim, including the Caldecott Honor, and has become a beloved classic in children’s literature. The book’s theme of responsibility and the pigeon’s persuasive tactics make it a valuable tool for sparking discussions and teaching valuable life lessons. Whether reading in traditional book format, listening to the audiobook, or exploring the digital ebook or podcast versions, readers of all ages can enjoy the timeless charm and entertainment provided by this beloved story.

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