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Book List

MW-PigeonBus
Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus


Knuffle Bunny

MW-Leonardo
Leonardo, the Terrible Monster

MW - Pigeon Hot Dog
The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog

MW-Time to Pee
Time to Pee!

Mo Willems - Illustrator

Mo Willems is more than just an author and illustrator. He's "your pal" too, according the covers of his books. Mo seems to know just what kids (and pigeons) are thinking. He knows how hard it is to lose a Knuffle Bunny, especially when Dad doesn't understand what you're saying. He knows that taking Time to Pee! isn't always easy. And he also realizes that pigeons really do want to drive the bus, even if that isn't a good idea.

Interview

RIF: How do you stay in touch with your inner-kid? You seem awfully good at it!

Mo Willems: I don’t have an inner kid; I have an outer kid. He’s pretty easy to access.

RIF: What kind of kid were you?

MW: I guess I was funny.  It was weird, on one hand my classmates laughed at my jokes and asked me to make drawings for them; on the other I was very unpopular.

RIF: Did you have a favorite book as a kid? Your books are great for reading over and over. Did you do that as a kid?

MW: All books are made to be re-read because each time you read them you bring something new to the pages.  If you’re sad, the story might seem more serious; if you’re happy, it might seem funnier.  I wasn’t much of a “book” reader as a kid, but I did voraciously read and re-read any Charlie Brown comic strip collection I could get my hands on.

RIF: Does your daughter read your books? If so, does she have a favorite?

MW: Trixie likes all of my books, but thinks hers are better.  She’s probably right.

RIF: You seem to know what's hard for kids, like losing their Knuffle Bunny or leaving when they have to pee.

MW: When I write and draw a book, I do the same thing a kid does when she’s confronted with a problem: I take it seriously.  Just because someone is small doesn’t mean that her problems are small. Oh, and the pee thing, that’s still hard for me.

RIF: Do you remember what being a kid was like?

MW: Sure, but I don’t write stories about my childhood, I write stories about my readers’ childhoods. 

RIF: Both kids and adults love your books. Do you think about who'll be reading your books?

MW: I think all the time about how people will interact with my stories.  The cool thing is that no matter how hard I try to second-guess my audience, they’ll always see new, cool stuff in my books, stuff I’d never imagined!

RIF: Do you have a favorite character you've created?

MW: My favorite character is my next character.  I’m always looking forward to making up new stories.  As for persistence, The Pigeon is the most relentless character I know; he always gets angry when I start working on a book that’s not about him.

RIF: Will you make another cartoon show for kids?

MW: I’m having too much fun writing and drawing books right now.  But never say ‘never’. Drat! I just said ‘never’! Aaargh! I said it again!

RIF: How do you come up with your drawing style? It seems simple, but there are lots of funny details.

MW: Hopefully, there are some funny big details as well.  I try to keep my drawings as simple as possible because I want any 4 year-old to be able to reasonably draw the book’s characters.  The fun of a book shouldn’t end when you’ve finished reading.

RIF: Were you ever afraid of monsters? Where did the idea of Leonardo come from?

MW: My closet was way too full of junk for any monsters to fit into. Leonardo is a based on lots of people I’ve met who are miserable trying to do what is expected of them, instead of doing what they’re good at.

RIF: What was it like writing for Sesame Street? Did you have a favorite character?

MW: Sesame Street was a great place to learn how to write funny.  The big advantage of writing for Muppets was that no matter how dumb your words were; they made them seem hilarious.  I guess I’m partial to Elmo, but only because his name means “The Mo” in Spanish.

RIF: Have you ever driven a bus?

MW: No, and I’ll probably never get the chance. The Pigeon would never forgive me if he found out that I did.

RIF: And do you like hot dogs?

MW: They’re my favorite processed food.

Get in touch with Mo Willems on his website!

 

Learn more about each of these authors and illustrators:
 

 
  Author

Author

 
  Illustrator

Illustrator

 

 
- - -
 

  illustrator

Allen Say

 
  Author

Arthur Dorros

 
  Illustrator

Ashley Bryan

 
  Author

Barbara Park

 
  Illustrator

Beverly Cleary

 
  illustrator

Bryan Collier

 
  Author

Candace Fleming

 
 

Carmen Rubin

 
  illustrator

Chris Van Allsburg

 
  Author

Cornelia Funke

 
  Author

Dav Pilkey

 
  illustrator

David Kirk

 
  Author

Eoin Colfer

 
  Illustrator

Eric Carle

 
 

Fred Bowen

 
  Author

Gail Carson Levine

 
  Illustrator

Graeme Base

 
  illustrator

Henry Cole

 
  Author

Jack Prelutsky

 
  illustrator

Jerry Pinkney

 
  Author

Jerry Spinelli

 
  Author

Joseph Bruchac

 
  Author

Karen Cushman

 
  Author

Kate DiCamillo

 
  Author

Kathleen Karr

 
 

Laurie Halse Anderson

 
  Author

Lemony Snicket

 
  Author

Lemony Snicket - part 2

 
  illustrator

Lulu Delacre

 
  illustrator

Mark Teague

 
  Author

Mary Pope Osborne

 
  Author

Megan McDonald

 
  Author

Mem Fox

 
  Author

Michelle Y. Green

 
  illustrator

Mo Willems

 
  Author

Nikki Grimes

 
  illustrator

Nina Laden

 
  Author

Pam Muñoz Ryan

 
  Illustrator

Pat Cummings

 
 

R.A. Montgomery

 
  Author

R.L. Stine

 
  Author

R.L. Stine - Part II

 
  illustrator

Rosemary Wells

 
  Author

Sharon Creech

 
  Author

Stan Lee

 
  Illustrator

Tony DiTerlizzi

 
  Author

Wendelin Van Draanen

 
  Author

William Sleator

 
 


For Grown-Ups:

 
 

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