Don’t Let the Pigeon Run This App!

The Project

We were delighted to work with award-winning children’s author Mo Willems to bring his beloved Pigeon to the iPhone and iPad.

The Payoff

Young readers can create their own stories and see them come to life in animation. They can also take a drawing lesson with Mo, play with the plucky Pigeon, and revisit their creations.


iOS Development




Capturing the essence of play

Three-time Caldecott Honoree Mo Willems’ phenomenally successful Pigeon book series has charmed kids and adults for two decades, and it was a joy to bring the Pigeon to this phenomenally engaging animated app.

Translating beloved properties from print to screen takes not just technical ability, but an innate understanding of what makes something fun. Capturing the essence of play and the joy of storytelling is something Small Planet does better than anybody. 

That’s why Disney and Hyperion Publishing trusted us with Don’t Let the Pigeon Run This App!, which lets you create your own Pigeon stories along with author Mo Willems.


Shake it up

Don’t Let the Pigeon Run This App! celebrates and encourages creative thinking and writing. We built in multiple storytelling modes for different literacy levels – Egg, Chick, and of course, Big Pigeon.

It’s truly an immersive show, with a UX flow that encourages creativity. After your friendly neighborhood bus driver asks you for ideas, you “shake” the pigeon using shake-and-tap interactivity. Your story appears, with your answers shaping the narrative.


Your stories, your voice

But the story isn’t just about filling in the blanks. The Pigeon in the app is voiced by none other than Mo himself, and it also stars … you!

We integrated a customization feature so you record your own voice as part of the stories. The results are often inspired, regularly hilarious, and always imaginative.

You can tell as many unique stories as you want, with the option to save or read again. Plus, there’s a pigeon-drawing tutorial with Mo.

App Store App of the Week
Interaction Awards Shortlist
NEA’s “Teacher’s Top 100 Books for Children”
One of Apple’s Best iPad Apps of 2011

Ready to get started?

Let’s build something together.

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