Jazzy kids are going to love the soundtrack to Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus. It’s the story of a pigeon with an attitude who really, really wants to drive the bus. The bus driver leaves us in charge of the bus while he takes care of something else, and pigeon does some heavy-duty nagging and begging, hoping to get us to allow him to drive the bus. All we can say is “No.” An amusing animated exchange between the pigeon and the bus driver accompanies the closing credits.
There are two other stories written and read by Mo Willems on Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus: “Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale” and “Leonardo the Terrible Monster.” “Knuffle Bunny,” featuring the voices of Trixie and Cheryl Willlems, is the story of an eventful trip to the laundromat. It details the frustrations a walking, but not yet talking, little girl experiences when trying to communicate.
“Leonardo” is a terrible monster because he is simply terrible at being a monster; people think he’s cute. Trying hard to be scary (but not succeeding), he develops a plan to scare “the most scaredy-cat kid in the whole world.” Leonardo pored over catalogs of children until he found the perfect subject for his efforts, Sam. Unsurprisingly, things don’t go exactly as planned. Joey Stack provides the voice of Sam.
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus is recommended for ages two through eight. It includes a “You Yell” version of “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus,” a Spanish version of “Knuffle Bunny” (El Conejito Knuffle: Un cuento alleccionador”), “Mo & Pigeon visit a school” (scenes of Mo reading to young students alternate with Willem’s account of how he became a kidlit author), and the familiar “Talk about the Stories” feature that offers questions for discussion and supports reading comprehension.
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus supports cooperation, early reading, and problem solving skills, and includes the Read-Along feature which allows the viewer to watch the story with or without captions.
Bottom Line: Would I buy Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus? Yep, the characters are delightful and the stories are fun. It will hit the streets September 28.