Mo Willems Celebrates Pigeon’s 10th Birthday With New Books

The new box set includes three of our Pigeon favorites. Image: Disney Publishing Worldwide.

It’s hard to believe that the Pigeon has been trying to drive that bus for 10 years now. Mo Willems first debuted Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! back in 2003. Since then, the book has received a ton of accolades, including the Caldecott Honor. Now, Willems is celebrating the book’s anniversary with the Pigeon, his buddies, and a few good reads.

Disney Publishing Worldwide recently released It’s a Busload of Pigeon Books! The set includes the one that started it all, as well as two follow-up books, Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! and The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog! If you don’t have any of the books, this is a nice way to kick off a collection. In fact, I can think of at least two kids that are getting this box set for an upcoming birthday.

My 6-year-old was introduced to the first book about a year ago. We just received the box set and he’s in love with it. It’s a good set for younger kids, especially at bedtime. He loves reading all three to me at night (in order, of course). Each one is really easy to get through, really colorful, and really cute. I prefer to end our reading session with Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! since the Pigeon ends up how I want my son to end up — asleep!

As an added bonus, the box set comes with a Pigeon-themed poster, with several colorful pictures of the birthday bird and activities on the reverse side.

More recently, Willems introduced A Big Guy Took My Ball! This is the 19th book for Gerald the Elephant and Piggie, Willems’ Geisel Award-winning duo. The two are best friends and when one is sad, the other tries to quickly remedy the situation. Like Willems’ other stories, this is an easy read, with bright colors and cute characters. Also, the idea of helping out a friend is always a nice message to convey. However, if you can throw a ball (literally) into the situation, it’s pure heaven for this house.

The last in the new lineup is coming on June 18, and this Pigeon fan can’t wait. It’s called Don’t Pigeonhole Me!: Two Decades of the Mo Willems Sketchbook. I wasn’t able to get my sweaty hands on this one, but Pigeon fans should be (ahem) flocking to this one. This is something for the coffee table, with 20 years’ worth of characters, scribbles and other ideas. It also includes a foreword by another favorite in this house, Eric Carle.

Disney Publishing Worldwide provided me with copies of these books for review purposes.

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