Bibliographic Info: Willems, Mo Don’t Let the Pigeon Run This App Hyperion (2011) Formats: $6.99, App Interest Level: PreK-Grade 1 Genre: Comedy and Humor, Spin-off Apps
Summary: Don’t Let The Pigeon Run This App! is a spin-off of the popular Pigeon series by Mo Willems that began with Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus. With this animated app, children can listen to a randomly generated story featuring the famous Pigeon character or create an original story. Older kids get to use their imaginations and add original vocal pieces to the story, while little kids can play along by answering multiple-choice questions. Kid’s voices are recorded for playback within the context of the story. The app also features a tutorial about how to draw the Willem’s star pigeon.
Review: Don’t Let the Pigeon Run This App appeals to kids of all ages by presenting users with three types of entertaining story experiences. These experiences, which range from passive to highly interactive, include: a pure listening experience, a multiple-choice fill-in-the-blank experience, and a Mad Lib-style voice recording experience. One nice feature is the app’s “vault” which children can use to save their favorite story creations. The app includes a wonderful “Draw With Mo” feature that teaches users how to draw the Pigeon character. The app is brimming with Mo Willems’s silly and exaggerated comedic style. For example, the child’s “Draw With Mo” drawing later appears in the story as a “priceless piece of art.” Users may also take a pic of their Pigeon creation to save for posterity. While this app is both highly engaging and entertaining (for kids of all ages), the number and variety of experiences the user may have with it are limited.
Storytime: After reading Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, shift to this fun spin-off app to add a storytelling extension that will deepen children’s narrative awareness. In the app, prompt groups to answer fill-in-the-blanks to create an original (and ridiculously funny) story, then play it back for your group.
Play-alikes: The Monster at the End of This Book (the Little Golden Book, eBook and App), The Wheels on the Bus (App) by Duck Duck Moose
Links: App website
I chose to review this app because it came from the genius comedic mind of Mo Willems.