A Lunch Inspired by Mo Willems’ Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late!


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My kids love all the books by Mo Willems. In fact our collection of his books take up an entire section of our bookshelf! Since they love his books, especially the Gerald and Piggie books, and they have been such a part of their childhood, I have been planning a series of lunches featuring the books as inspiration for the lunch theme. Over the weekend we read Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! again and my daughter was excited to have a lunch featuring this book this week. So, since today is National Read Across America day, I decided this was the perfect time to initiate our Mo Willems Book Inspired Lunch Series.
I selected our blue Bentgo Kids box for this lunch because I wanted a blue box to coordinate with the pigeon.


In it, I packed a peanut butter sandwich, apple slices, crackers, fruit, veggies, and a peppermint.

I used food safe markers to draw a picture of the pigeon and I added a red megaphone inspired by one of the images of the book.



I cut yellow bell pepper in the shape of stars and included a star pick for the part where the pigeon suggests they can stay up and count the stars instead of going to bed. I also included a little cup pick with a small straw for the part where the pigeon asks for a drink of water. (Asking for another drink of water is a classic move my kids use when they want to avoid settling into bed. At the end of a long day the seven words in that request can drive me nearly batty. My kids find it amusing that I react to such a simple request so they think this part of the book is hilarious!)

I was lucky to have this cute little bunny pick on hand from a set of bento picks. It is a really close match to the super cute images of the pigeon’s stuffed animal included throughout the book.

I love how the illustrations in this book show the increasing exhaustion that the pigeon is experiencing as he tries to stay up late and the way the tiredness is reflected in his little bunny as well.



I added this cute little hot dog pick to represent the end of the book where the pigeon dreams of a hot dog party.


Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! is such as fun book and I hope my daughter enjoyed recalling it today during lunch. She and I had fun planning the lunch to see what features we could represent. And, if you noticed the little pigeon in the treat section of the lunchbox, he was the suggestion of my husband. Since the pigeon shows up in other books by Mo Willems and because I hope to do a whole series of lunches based on Mo Willems’ books, my husband thought it would be fun to make a pigeon that can be included in all the lunches to come. I thought this was a fun idea, so I used Shrinky Dink paper to created a food pick, like I have done before here and here. The little pigeon pick is sitting on top of a couple of peppermints. My daughter loves those!
If you haven’t read Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! yet, I suggest you try it with your kids. It’s fun and does a wonderful job of illustrating the bedtime struggle through both works and images.


I hope you will check back in the future and follow my Mo Willems Inspired Lunch Series as it grows. Thanks for reading today’s post. Have a happy National Read Across America Day.


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