Celebrating Mo Willems! (Edition #9)

April 3, 2012

Today one of my favorite authors, Mo Willems, releases a long awaited new book in his “pigeon” series!  If you don’t already know the picture books of Mo Willems, you have missed his fun, quirky gems!  The new one released today is titled, “The Duckling Gets a Cookie!?”, which is my #1 featured book in this edition.  Mo is currently on tour to promote this new book, and if he is coming to your town, I highly recommend you try to attend… I had the chance to meet him at the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C. a few years ago and found him to be charming and witty!

For more information you can find him on Facebook or his website:


BOOK #1:

The Duckling Gets a Cookie!?
Written and Illustrated by Mo Willems  (2012)
Available in Hardcover

Since I haven’t had a chance to actually see this book yet, since it is released tomorrow, here is what Publishers Weekly has to say about this book:

Where an exclamation point conveyed birdy delight in Willems’s The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog! this title’s interrobang implies shock at the Duckling’s good fortune. As the sequence opens, the yellow Duckling requests a cookie, receives one immediately, and graciously thanks the unseen provider with a “flappy flip flap!” The Pigeon, whom the Duckling cajoled into sharing a hot dog in the earlier book, soon arrives to express astonishment. Multipanel spreads and emphatic voice balloons reveal his outrage as The Pigeon throws a colossal tantrum (“I ask for things all the time! / I ask to drive the bus!… I’ve asked for a walrus!… But do I get what I ask for? Noooooo!”). In an unexpected turn, the Duckling gives the Pigeon the entire cookie, shocking the bird (and probably readers, too). Willems packs his punchy dialogue, punctuation, and cartoon visuals with meaning. The Duckling’s dilated blue pupils and wiggling tail suggest studied cuteness, while the Pigeon’s pointy wings and scornful eyelids show comical aggravation. The Duckling’s outward generosity, which hides ulterior motives, ends this exuberant Pigeon installment on a snarky note worthy of Tweety Bird. Ages 2–6. (Apr.)

I will be sure to add a comment as soon as I read my copy of this book!  I am attending a talk/signing of Mo Willems this coming Thursday evening!

BOOK #2:

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!
Written and Illustrated by Mo Willems  (2003)
Available in Hardcover and Paperback Big Book Edition (coming 6/12/2012)

This is the PIGEON book that started it all!  When it debuted, it started a picture book fan craze for the pigeon!

When a bus driver takes a break from his route, pigeon volunteers to take the wheel.  He begs and pleads and whines… trying his best to win his way.  He is quite hilarious and as the author overview of the books states, pigeon, perfectly captures a preschooler’s temper tantrum”.

If you have not been introduced to pigeon books yet, you must, MUST, locate them at your library or favorite bookstore!  Your toddler and YOU will love all of the pigeon books!  By the way, this was chosen as a 2004 Caldecott Honor book for the illustrations.

BOOK #3:

Knuffle Bunny:  A Cautionary Tale
Written and Illustrated by Mo Willems  (2004)
Available in Hardcover

Any parent whose child has had a beloved stuffed toy will be able to relate to this story!  When Trixie loses her bunny, hilarity ensues as we follow her worried father in trying to find him.  A part of the problem is that Trixie hasn’t learned to talk yet.  The more she tried to communicate, the more baffled her father becomes.  All is well when the beloved bunny is found and Trixie’s first words are “knuffle bunny”.  The pictures are mixed with sepia toned photographs with his cartoonish illustrations.  This is a book that parents will love just as much as their children.  There are two darling books that continue the Knuffle Bunny adventure and you can see those listed below.

BOOK #4:

My Friend Is Sad  (Elephant and Piggie Series)
Written and Illustrated by Mo Willems  (2007)
Available in Hardcover

Gerald the elephant and Piggie the pig are best friends.  They are very different from each other, but their differences complement each other and bond them as friends.  In this story, Gerald is sad and Piggie tries everything to make Gerald smile.  Young children especially enjoy making sound effects to the characters Piggie acts out to try to cheer Gerald up.

This series has grown and become very popular with the preschool aged set.  All of the books deal with relatable topics.  The illustrations are very expressive with simple dialogue around the story.  Any of the Elephant and Piggie series are great to read aloud to your children or to a group for story time.

Other books by Mo Willems:

– Knuffle Bunny Too:  A Case of Mistaken Identity

– Knuffle Bunny Free:  An Unexpected Diversion

– Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late

– The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog!

– The Pigeon Wants a Puppy!

– The Pigeon Has Feelings Too!  (Board Book)

– The Pigeon Loves Things That Go!  (Board Book)

– I Will Surprise My Friend!  (Elephant and Piggie Series)

– There is a Bird On Your Head!  (Elephant and Piggie Series)

– Can I Play Too?  (Elephant and Piggie Series)

– We Are In a Book!  (Elephant and Piggie Series)

– Happy Pig Day!   (Elephant and Piggie Series)

– Pigs Make Me Sneeze!  (Elephant and Piggie Series)

– I Broke My Trunk!  (Elephant and Piggie Series)

– Should I Share My Ice Cream?  (Elephant and Piggie Series)

– Listen to My Trumpet!  (Elephant and Piggie Series)

– Are You Ready to Play Outside?  (Elephant and Piggie Series)

– Elephants Cannot Dance!  (Elephant and Piggie Series)

– Watch Me Throw the Ball!  (Elephant and Piggie Series)

– I Love My New Toy!  (Elephant and Piggie Series)

– I Am Going!  (Elephant and Piggie Series)

– I Am Invited to a Party!  (Elephant and Piggie Series)

– Today I Will Fly!  (Elephant and Piggie Series)

– Cat The Cat, Who is That?  (Cat the Cat Series)

– What’s Your Sound, Hound the Hound?  (Cat the Cat Series)

– Let’s Say Hi to Friends Who Fly!  (Cat the Cat Series)

– Time to Sleep, Sheep the Sheep!  (Cat the Cat Series)

– Leonardo, The Terrible Monster

– City Dog, Country Frog

– Hooray for Amanda & Her Alligator!

– Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed

– Big Frog Can’t Fit In  (Pop-up book)

– Edwina, the Dinosaur Who Didn’t Know She Was Extinct

– Time to Pee!

– Time to Say Please!

About picturebooklook

Hello picture book enthusiasts! I am the mother of 3 twenty-something children and became a grandmother for the first time in early 2012. I have had an affection for picture books for almost as long as I can remember. I have acquired a treasured collection from when my children were young. I have never lost my fondness for them! I have worked in the Children's department of my local Barnes & Noble for the last 10 years. Each month I hope to feature a new picture book review, along with a classic picture book. The fact is, these books are true works of art! The stories are simple, sweet lines, that often stay with us into our adult lives. This blog is dedicated to Danielle Catherine and all of my future grandchildren, and also to all of you who love the beauty of picture books as much as I do!
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2 Responses to Celebrating Mo Willems! (Edition #9)

  1. Caitlin says:

    LOVE!!!!! These are great books for teachers!

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