Author Spotlight: Mo Willems

Published Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Mo Willems is a well-awarded author and illustrator. One of his more popular book series, Elephant and Piggie, has won Two Theodor Geisel Medals and five Geisel Honors. Willems has also won six Emmys for his work on the TV show, Sesame Street.

Willems' stories are chock full of humor and usually shorter sentences, making them a favorite for beginning readers. Most of the stories have a twist at the end as well, which helps keep readers on their toes!

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!

A delightfully expressive tale of a pigeon's ambition to drive a bus. Throughout the story, the Pigeon repeatedly asks the reader to let them drive, to no avail. Willems' illustrations of the Pigeon are hilarious, as well as making the sentences pop off the page.

This book is the first story in the Pigeon series, so if you love this book, then there are plenty more adventures about the Pigeon to read later on.

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Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed

This story centers on Wilbur the naked mole rat. Wilbur is considered odd by the other naked mole rats, the reason being that he likes to wear clothes! Will he be accepted by the others, or will he always be the clothed one out?

For young readers, this will help teach them that it is okay to be different and to accept those that choose to do things a little bit differently.

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An Elephant and Piggie Book: There Is a Bird on Your Head!

Elephant and Piggie are one of the more popular series for young readers by Willems. The series is a delight for both young and old to read together.

In this story, Elephant and Piggie discuss what is on top of Elephant's head. The entire story is told through dialogue, with the illustrations adding emphasis and emotions to it. This would be perfect for a parent and child to practice reading together, each reading one of the characters' dialogue.

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That Is Not a Good Idea!

A standalone story presented similarly to an old time movie. A fox and a goose go on a stroll. What could possibly happen? According the commentary by the little chicks, this is not a good idea!

As Willems is known for, the story is moved along with short sentences in a dialogue and expressive pictures. There may be a twist in the end as well!

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Hooray for Amanda & Her Alligator

A longer than usual story for Willems about the loving friendship between Amanda and her stuffed alligator. While Amanda is away, her alligator must learn that there are fun things that you can do all by yourself.

This story is well-suited for readers who have had some practice reading. There are a few higher level words that parents might help their readers with.

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Unlimited Squirrels: I Lost My Tooth!

Another series by Willems, but this time, it's squirrels who do the talking! These stories are also dialogue driven, so readers could read with a partner or maybe a group, as there are more than two squirrels.

In this specific story, one of the squirrels loses their tooth! Where could it have gone? The rest of the squirrel group will find out no matter what!

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About the Author

Rachel is the Youth Services Assistant. She loves to read science fiction and romance novels. She also loves to watch terrible B-movies that no one likes.