Friends from the Mo Willems gang are on hand to help Chicago Children’s Museum guests enjoy a new learning exhibition. The Pigeon Comes to Chicago!: A Mo Willems Exhibit opened Sept. 21 with activities for preschool and elementary-aged children that let the books of artist, author and Chicago-native Willems come to life.
Kids can interact with and play out some of their favorite books, as well as see how Willems draws his characters. In the two-room display, guests can create with Willems, leave notes of thanks and play games of skill. They can also talk like Gerald and Piggie, play Plinko to give the Duckling a cookie, toss hot dogs or build with blocks.
For fans looking for their favorite characters, here are some activities to watch for.
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus was Willems’ first book in 2003 and quickly became a critical and popular success. Pigeon has had successive books with hot dogs, cookies, trying to stay up late and taking a bath. Fans at Chicago Children’s Museum can interact with Pigeon by:
- Driving a bus
- Walking the exhibit as vehicles
- Tossing hot dogs
- Giving the Duckling a cookie
- Making Pigeon the star of flip “movies”
- Learning to draw PIgeon
Trixie, a character named after Willems’ daughter, is a young toddler who can’t yet talk. When she loses Knuffle Bunny at the laundromat, her communication woes confuse her Daddy until Mommy finally realizes the problem and the trio help save Knuffle Bunny. Subsequent books have seen Trixie grow and Knuffle Bunny lost many other times. Knuffle fans can:
- Spin the Laundromat to find Knuffle Bunny, laundry and other characters
- Read Knuffle Bunny books
- Find Knuffle Bunny “lost” in other parts of the exhibit
Elephant & Piggie
Gerald the elephant and his friend Piggie are kind pals who have grown from the early reader series into children’s plays and theater. The pair go on adventures and learn the trials of everyday life, like eating something new, finding new friends and learning to say thank you. Guests can:
- Talk like and with Gerald and Piggie
- Make Gerald and Piggie dance
- Learn about Thank Yous & let Piggie pick the recipient of your Thank You note
- Find them in a laundromat
- See early works
- Learn to draw Gerald & Piggie
Leonardo & Naked Mole Rat
Leonardo is a terrible monster who can’t scare anyone. Naked Mole Rat has a secret: he likes to wear clothes. The pair help kids learn to be themselves in their books: Leonardo, The Terrible Monster and Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed. Kids can:
- Put clothes on Wilbur
- Work together to roll Wilbur through a fashion show
- Build someone for Leonardo to scare
- Read the books for both characters
- Learn to draw them
If you go
Runs through Jan. 12, 2020
Included in general admission
Chicago Children’s Museum at Navy Pier, 700 E. Grand Ave., Chicago
Find more information at chicagochildrensmuseum.org.
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