Review of Be the Bus: The Lost & Profound Wisdom of The Pigeon, as told to Mo Willems

Be the Bus

The Lost & Profound Wisdom of the Pigeon

as told to Mo Willems
with an introduction by The Bus Driver

Union Square & Co., 2023. 80 pages.
Review written June 21, 2023, from a library book.
Starred Review

Okay this book is completely silly and takes only five minutes to read — but it did make me laugh and compel me to read pages aloud to the other people in the office.

What we’ve got is a book of silly things that The Pigeon would say, with each page illustrated by Mo Willems.

For example:

Genius is seldom recognized.
THAT is why I wear a name tag.

DRIVE! like no one is watching.
HONK! like no one is listening.
DREAM! like no one is thwarting.

Also, better to say:
“I love you more than ever.”
“I used to love you less.”

There are lots of clever bits even in the front and back matter. I love the part where The Bus Driver explains that profound question, “WHY can’t The Pigeon drive the bus?”

It is a question that echoes through the ages like the long, loud honk of a horn being leaned on too enthusiastically by an irresponsible blue bird. The answers are many and almost philosophical in their complexity as they touch upon issues of safety, insurance, proper licensing, union requirements, and, of course, feet being able to reach the pedals.

My favorite pages are probably where The Pigeon compares apples and oranges. In many ways. After all, they both can be juggled.

But I suppose best of all — and the reason I really did have to post a review — is this page:

Teachers and Librarians
are too brilliant & lovely & insightful & kind & effervescent & devoted & joyful to EVER be pandered to.

I bet you know a teacher or librarian who would love this book!

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Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but the views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

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