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Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!

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by

Becca Morton

on 13 March 2014

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Transcript of Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!

- There was a lot of different emotions in the story

- The pictures clearly showed the expressions of the characters (bus driver & pigeon)

- It reminded us of what children would say and do when they want something from you

- The story was hilarious and we loved it!
Thoughts after first reading
Visual Image & Design
- The illustrations provide information on the emotions pertinent to the story.

- The gaps in the illustrations include the gender of the pigeon, so that the reader can decide the gender for themselves, and any surrounding scenery so that the central focus of the story is the pigeon and his "dilemma."

-The text and the illustrations are intrinsically linked; the story overall is not cohesive with only or the other.

-The images of the story change in size and shape due to the intensity of the pigeon's emotions due to his pleading and his temper tantrum.

-The design of the book is imperative to the structure of the story because the absence of surrounding features makes the reader focus on the pigeon and the tension of the story rather than outside features

-Themes that were constructed as the book was being read included the idea that you cannot always get what you want and that people are sometimes told no in the interest of their safety and others' too.


Peritextual Features
One Image Analyzed
By:
Becca Morton
Aubrey Lujan
Brooke Roberts
Hailey Craton
Izzy Denning

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!
- When Mo Willems (the author) was younger, he noticed that adults praised his work out of politeness. Therefore, he started to create funny stories in order to cause the audience to laugh authentically.
- Mo Willems has his own children, so he knows and has experienced the way children act when they want something and do not get their way.
- Mo Willems started his career on Sesame Street; therefore, much of his material is instructional based. He is a credible source, because he has won 6 Emmy Awards, three other Caldecott Honors, two Theodor Seuss Geisel Medals, and is a
New York Times
best-selling author.
-The setting for the story is in New York City, where Willems lived for a number of years. This is reasonable to assume because of the prevalence of pigeons in the city, the presence of the bus, and how fascinated the pigeon is with a shiny red truck, which would be rare to see in a city the size of New York.
-The pigeon has no definable gender, race, ethnicity, age, etc. All sorts of children can relate to the children because they relate to the pigeon's actions, not its physical characteristics.
-The pigeon and the bus drive are the only voices seen, but not the only voice present because the reader is an active part of the story. They are encouraged to say "no" to all of the pigeon's pleas.
-The pigeon could be switched out with a small child and literal difference would be seen; it would be just as absurd for a small child to drive a bus or a truck as it would be for a pigeon, especially as there are fantasy elements to the story because the pigeon can talk.
-The setting is realistic and natural, even if the reader is not absolutely sure of what it is. Everything about the story is natural, except for the fact that the pigeon can talk. This is important because it lends credibility and a feeling of the genuine to the overall story. Because the rest of the story is genuine, the fact that the pigeon can talk is accepted as realistic, because the surrounding details and the pigeon's behavior are authentic.
-The lesson to be learned is clearly that being said "no" to can be a good thing, but that being told "no" by someone is not the end of the world. In fact, it can often be healthy and beneficial, especially if what you want to do (like drive a bus when you are a pigeon) would be harmful to you or the people around you. (Overt vs. subvert). These ideas are not very hidden, by any means, especially as the book is written for younger aged children.
-The experiences that most closely correlate to those in the text involve children, either memories of not getting what you wanted and how you reacted, or being around a child when they do not get what they want. Those experiences are very formative and help the reader to connect to the text and the overt and subvert messages within the story. Without those experiences or memories, it would be harder for the reader to make that connection to the text because they would not understand why the pigeon reacted as strongly as he did.

Socio-Cultural Context
About the Author
Mo Willems
Before analyzing the text, we did not think the book had much substance.

We have since realized that there are overt and subvert messages contained within the text. Analyzation provided further interpretation into the story because it was then that we realized the pigeon dreams about driving because he is trapped and wants to fly. Had we not futher investigated the story we would not have drawn such deep connections from it--we would have merely been looking at it surface level.
How analysis impacted our interpretation
The letters are bold, which make them stand out
and catch the readers eye.
The letters are in all caps and larger than the other text in the story, which shows how significant the words are and that the pigeon is screaming/yelling these words.
Text is highlighted in yellow which shows it is important and grabs the readers attention.
The background is brighter in this two page spread than any of the other backgrounds, which demands attention and indicates intensity of his emotions.
Progression of images, from the top right corner moving counter-clockwise, creates the cycle of the emotions in the development of the pigeons temper.
The images of the pigeon
get progressively bigger, as
well as the pigeons pupil (of the eye). The image in the bottom right has the largest pupil, which is the color red. This signifies passion and anger. The pigeon is passionate about what it wants and is angry because it is not getting it. The lines around the eye also progressively get bigger, which shows the intensity of the pigeons anger, similar to when children get lines in their faces when they are angry.
The sharp edges of the wings demonstrate anxiety and the pigeon is evoking the anxiety upon the reader. The lines surrounding the wings show the reader that the wings are moving.
The pigeons body is big in this image which demands the readers attention and shows importance. This is the most important emotion in the picture because it portrays the whole message of the story, that the pigeon is trying to get its way and has reached its climax.
This pictures is a double page spread, which draws the reader into the story and makes them feel like they are apart of it. Because of the double page spread, the reader is more of a participant of the story than a spectator.
Words of the Book
The bus driver saying "Hi!" at the beginning evokes a casual conversation between the bus driver and the reader. The word "I'm" signifies that the bus driver is the author speaking to the reader.
The bus driver is giving a command to the reader by saying "listen", which shows authority as well. He is giving the reader the direct responsibility of watching over the pigeon, to make sure he does not drive the bus.
The word "you" shows that the bus driver is talking directly to the reader and brings them into the story, filling a significant role.
The word "things" signifies the task, making sure that the reader watches out for the pigeon and the bus, making it a more general statement.
The phrase "oh, and remember" tells the reader that the bus driver is going to give them an important task, and to pay close attention to what he is about to say.
The text as a whole does not include the use of gender specific pronouns, so the reader does not know if the pigeon is a boy or a girl. Also, there is no mention of ethnicity or race in the text. Therefore, the pigeon is identifiable to all children. Children are able to relate to the pigeon, based on the pigeons actions rather than the pigeons physical characteristics or labels.
The text on the right page is larger than the previous text, signifying the importance of the readers task to look out for the pigeon and the bus while the bus driver is away.
The words below the speak bubble, which says "words and pictures by mo willems" is in a typed format, rather than written. The rest of the words are written in crayon, but this is typed. This means that the text is not apart of the story or conversation happening between the bus driver and the reader (on this page).
The white collar on the pigeon symbolizes purity and innocence just like the pigeons dreams. The pigeons dreams are of freedom, which it wishes to be. The pigeon is confined to its environment, reality, and its personal life. The pigeons collar keeps it grounded, where as real pigeons are able to fly and do not have collars. The pigeon never flies in the story, and it wants to drive the bus because that is the closest thing to flying for the pigeon.
The ending of the book relates to the rest of it because the pigeon moves on from his dream of driving the bus to a new dream, where he drives a big, shiny, red truck. This relates to the rest of the book because it sets up another potential story where the pigeon tries to convince his audience (the reader) to allow him to drive the other vehicle. This supports inferential reading wherein the reader would then be able to hypothesize about whether or not the pigeon would be able to drive the truck and follow his new dream. The story also is cyclical because it begins with
the pigeon dreaming about driving the bus and ends with him
dreaming about driving the truck. It provides a sort closure to
the story overall and allows the reader to become
attached to the pigeon in his
new adventure.
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