Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late...and More Stories by Mo Willems

Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late...and More Stories by Mo Willems

Fall 2013 DVD
Ages: 4 - 9 yrs.
Producer: New Video
DVD Price: $14.95

Scholastic Storybook Treasures presents Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late…and More Stories, a collection of three animated stories based on best-selling author Mo Willems’ children’s books. Kids aged 4 to 9 will adore these tales—and what the heck, so will teens, parents, and senior adults! Each story is short—no more than 10 minutes—but all pack loads of entertainment value into their relatively brief run-times.

Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! is based on the third book in Willems’ popular Pigeon series. The fantastically funny story is told using simply animated characters set against rich pastel backgrounds. Pigeon, that master of persuasion, comes up with a string of reasons why he should be allowed to stay up late. Children will enjoy Pigeon’s antics but parents are guaranteed to hoot with laughter as Pigeon presents some very familiar arguments: “But I’m not even tired! I need a drink of water! What’s five more minutes?”

The second tale on the DVD is Knuffle Bunny Free: An Unexpected Diversion. This story features the voice-over talents of Willems and his real-life wife and daughter. A family heads on vacation but, due to a dreadful mishap, the daughter’s beloved stuffed bunny gets left on the plane. Will Knuffle Bunny find his way back to his devastated owner? The touching turn of events will surprise kids, and probably bring a tear to every parents’ eye. By the way, much credit here goes to the brilliant direction and animation of Karen Villarreal, who puts the animated characters against black and white photographs of actual settings—an impressive visual achievement smart enough to impress even the most discerning viewers.

In the final entry in this collection, Edwina, the Dinosaur Who Didn’t Know She Was Extinct, more clever-but-uncluttered animation tells the story of a lovely dinosaur who plays with the neighborhood kids and even bakes them chocolate chip cookies. Just about everyone loves Edwina…everyone except crabby kid Reginald Von Hoobie-Doobie. He sets out to prove the true fate of the dinosaurs but his campaign doesn’t quite go as planned. (Be sure to play through the end credits for a hilarious postscript.)

This DVD has an optional read-along feature and bonus extras include a fascinating interview with Mo Willems, as well as the recipe for dinosaur Edwina’s chocolate chip cookies. Everything about this collection is sure to delight viewers of all ages. Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late…and More Stories by Mo Willems is a perfect example of what happens when everyone brings their A-game to work.

Gina Catanzarite   ©2013 Parents' Choice
Gina Catanzarite is an award-winning television producer, writer, teacher, mom and media consultant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She began her career in 1987 and counts 9 Emmy awards, 26 Emmy nominations, a Matrix award, two Pennsylvania Broadcaster's Association Awards, 8 Telly Awards, and a screenwriting grant from the Theatre Association of Pennsylvania, among her professional honors.

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