Thursday, February 10, 2011

Happy Birthday Mo Willems - February 11

Happy Birthday Mo Willems - February 11

"It takes a long time for a character to become who they are," said Mo Willems, the creator the Pigeon, Trixie and Knuffle Bunny, and Leonardo the Terrible Monster. "While I am working on a book with one set of characters. I am thinking about and doodling another set." With these wonderful characters Mo Willems has been awarded three Caldecott Honors (Don't Let Pigeon Drive the Bus 2004, Knuffle Bunny 2005, Knuffle Bunny Too 2008). More recently, he has received three Theodor Geisel Award recognitions for his Elephant and Piggie books (There is Bird on Your Head 2008, Are You Ready to Play Outside 2009, We Are in a Book 2011- Honor).   We're not suppose to tell the pigeon but "Elephant and Piggie are his favorite books to make." (Pigeon Presents).

Before our birthday celebration this week for Mo we had read all the Knuffle Bunny books and many of the Pigeon books. However, we had never read any of the Elephant and Piggie books.  Please don't tell the pigeon (or Trixie for that matter) but, "Elephant and Piggie are now our favorite books by Mo Willems to read!"  My wife often says to me after she puts the baby to bed, "I can hear you read books all the way downstairs!" (Whoops!) Well, what can I say, I get into the books I read.  After reading the Elephant and Piggie books I am surprised I didn't get a call from my neighbors!  They are wonderful read alouds!

I had a blast reading the words of Gerald the elephant each night.  One evening, after the kids were in bed, I had a thought...."The Elephant Hat!" I knew my wife had an elephant hat at school that the teachers all wore for Halloween. I thought it would fun for the kids to have the elephant hat and a pig nose to act out the stories of Piggie and Gerald. Then, inspiration struck after reading four Elephant and Piggie books one afternoon this week. My daughter and I wrote our own skit based upon our favorite characters by Mo Willems.  We call the skit, "Guess Whose Birthday?"  We hope you enjoy! Happy Birthday Mo Willems!

Check out the latest Elephant and Piggie book, I Broke My Trunk, published February 8, 2011:


1. - Fun and Games for Kids (Meet Mo's Friends)
2. Pigeon Present Website - Teacher's Guides for Many Books (Lots of Good Videos too!)
3. The Pigeon on Twitter
5. Mo Willems Blog
6. 2010 Birthday Present (Gift of Doodles!) -  Blog Post!
7. Mo Willems Birthday Doodle in 2008 for the Big 4-0!
8. Reading Rockets Video Interview
9. Video of Mo Willems on YouTube - Authors Reveals, Watchnow (Also on PigeonPresents), Barnes and Noble
10. Video of Mo Willems discussing City Dog, Country Dog - YouTube
11. Mo Willems at the National Book Festival 2009 - Library of Congress
12. Audio Interview - Just One More Book
13. Text Interview - AtHomeDad, Babble, Title Tales, Scholastic + Links to More from Mo's Blog, CNN 2013
14. Suzie Kabloozie of Sesame Street - created by Mo Willems - YouTube  + another video
15. Sheep in the Big City (Pilot Episode) created by Mo Willems - VeOh
16. Codename: Kids Next Door Website - Mo Willems served as head writer for the first four seasons
17. Knuffle Bunny Theatre Trailer - YouTube
18. More on the Knuffle Bunny Musical - Mo Doodles Blog
19. Elephant and Piggie interview- NPR + More on NPR + Even More on NPR (and there is probably more, just google Mo Willems, All Things Considered.)


  1. That is just too cute! Love it!

    BTW, don't you wish you could go to Mo Willems house for a meal and take part in the dinner doodles and draw on the chaulkboard walls in the dining room? I know I wish I could, or that I could talk my husband into putting chaulkboard walls somewhere in our house. :)

  2. Oh my! That was beyond adorable! I loved it! :o)

    I don't know why I'm now just realizing this, but your house must be one of the funnest places ever, especially for kiddos! You are constantly having "birthday parties". I mean, it really doesn't get much better than that!

    Loved this! Loved the skit! And of course, Happy Birthday Mo Willems! One of our absolute favorites as well. :o)

  3. Oh my goodness! This is terrific!!! Welcome to Read Aloud Thursday! I look forward to browsing around your blog!

  4. Wow Eric, that was awesome! Great stuff as always! I've already "I Love My New Toy" about 6 times this morning with my daughter.

  5. PS...Mo tweeted to YOU! How exciting! :oD Ahhhhh!!!


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