Thursday, October 27, 2011

Great App for Kids -- Mo Willems’ Famous Pigeon Takes Flight in First-Ever Mobile App



Based on Award-Winning “Don’t Let the Pigeon” Book Series


Kids Create Their Own Pigeon-Inspired Stories in Disney Publishing Worldwide’s Release
of “Don’t Let the Pigeon Run This App!” for Apple Mobile Devices 

Disney Publishing Worldwide launched today the first original app by three-time Caldecott Honor winner Mo Willems. “Don’t Let the Pigeon Run this App!” is now available from the App Store on the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. The unique, interactive app features author Mo Willems as the voice of the curious and determined Pigeon and invites children everywhere to create one-of-a-kind Pigeon stories using their imaginations as they add their own voices and drawings to the fully animated app.

The long list of things the Pigeon can’t do—drive the bus, stay up late, eat a hot dog—grows and grows, as children decide what the hilarious Pigeon will try to do next. Willems played a lead role in the design, writing, voicing, and illustrating of the app. The author gives voice to the Pigeon and, in the app’s drawing tutorial, Willems guides children in the exploration and illustration of their own pigeons. With kids in creative control, each time they play the app brings new surprises and an enriching reading and playtime experience.

"Interactivity has always been a key to the Pigeon books,” said Willems. “‘Don’t Let the Pigeon Run This App!’ takes that interactivity to the point where the child is not only the audience, but the author as well. I can't wait to see what awesome ideas kids will come up with. They're going to put the Pigeon through the wringer!"

Features of “Don’t Let the Pigeon Run This App!” include: 

  • A fully animated storytelling experience inspired by the award-winning children’s book series;
  • A starring appearance by the Pigeon, voiced by Mo!;
  • Three unique storytelling modes so that readers can enjoy limitless one-of-a-kind Pigeon stories;
  • Read-along option;
  • Ability to personalize the content with readers own voice;
  • Shake the Pigeon to start the stories;
  • A Pigeon drawing tutorial with Mo;
  • “Favorite stories” section where readers can create their own personal libraries.

“Don’t Let the Pigeon Run This App!” is available for $6.99 from the App Store on the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch or at

My Thoughts:
When I received the press release today about this new app, I couldn't wait to try it out for myself. We have been fans of Mo Willems since we began reading his Knuffle Bunny books to Savannah. After playing around with each of the app features, I have to say, we loved the pigeon drawing tutorial with Mo.  Who knew even the worst of drawers could create Mo's famous pigeon.  Both my husband and I took turns drawing the pigeon, while our 15 month old took her own artistic spin on it, and created her own pigeon-like creature.  I wonder how much money I could get if we sold her masterpiece in an upscale gallery?  :-)

Our second favorite feature of the app, was the read-along option.  This was great, as it kept Savannah entertained and she couldn't get enough of the endless pigeon stories. And, in order to start each story, you have to shake the Pigeon and get him all riled up.  Savannah couldn't stop laughing watching the Pigeon's reaction.

Overall, this is a fun app for kids who love Mo Willems' Pigeon stories, or Mo's work in general.  With limitless stories and a variety of activities to partake in, they will be busy for hours.

This is definitely an app worth checking out.  No wonder it is the iPhone app of the week at iTunes.

About Mo Willems
In April 2003, television writer and animator Mo Willems published his first children's book, Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! What quietly originated as a doodle in a sketchbook for family and friends became a publishing phenomenon and an instant children's classic. The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog! followed in April 2004; Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! in 2006; and The Pigeon Wants a Puppy! in 2008. Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! was awarded the prestigious Caldecott Honor by the American Library Association and was inducted into the Indies Choice Picture Book Hall of Fame. More than 4 million Pigeon books are in print in the US, with 13 foreign-language editions around the world. 

Mo Willems has been awarded the Caldecott Honor on two other occasions: for Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale and Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity. In addition to picture books, he wrote the script and lyrics for Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical, commissioned by the Kennedy Center for its 2010 season. The production is currently touring the nation. Mo also created the Elephant & Piggie books, a series of easy readers, which have been awarded two Theodor Geisel Medals and a Geisel Honor. He began his career on Sesame Street, where he garnered six Emmy Awards.

About Disney Publishing Worldwide
Disney Publishing Worldwide (DPW) is the world’s largest publisher of children’s books and magazines, with over 250 million children’s books and over 400 million children’s magazines sold each year. Disney Publishing Worldwide consists of an extensive worldwide licensing structure as well as vertically integrated publishing imprints including Disney Book Group in the U.S., Disney Libri in Italy and Disney Libros in Spain. DPW publishes a range of children’s magazines globally including Topolino, Le Journal de Mickey, and Donald Duck, as well as family titles in the U.S. which include Disney FamilyFun and Phineas and Ferb. Disney English is DPW’s English language learning business which includes Disney English learning centers in China and a worldwide retail licensing program. DPW’s digital products include bestselling eBook titles as well as original apps. Headquartered in White Plains, NY, Disney Publishing Worldwide publishes books, magazines, and digital products in 85 countries in 75 languages. For more information visit

Disclosure: I was sent a code to review this app for free, in order to write up an honest review.  The views above are mine and mine alone.

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