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Mo Willems & Laurie Keller Talk with Roger

Talks with Roger is a sponsored supplement to our free monthly e-newsletter, Notes from the Horn Book. To receive Notes, sign up here. Sponsored by While — sob! — the beloved Elephant and Piggie went into retirement with last year’s The Thank You Book, it seems that they are going to devote their golden years […]

Beginning Readers and the Caldecott

Beginning readers aren’t awarded Caldecott Medals or Honors. Not really. Arnold Lobel did win a Caldecott Honor way back in 1971 for Frog and Toad Are Friends, and the past ten years have seen Caldecott recognition of picture books that also function as beginning readers: Kevin Henkes’s Waiting (2016); Jon Klassen’s This Is Not My Hat (2013); Laura Vaccaro […]

Review of Nanette’s Baguette

Nanette’s Baguette by Mo Willems; illus. by the author Primary    Hyperion    40 pp. 10/16    978-1-4847-2286-2    $17.99    g Willems’s latest picture book takes place in France, where the mother of a young anthropomorphic frog entrusts her daughter, the eponymous Nanette, with the responsibility of purchasing a baguette. The village Nanette traverses on her way to the […]

Review of The Thank You Book

The Thank You Book [Elephant & Piggie] by Mo Willems; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Hyperion    57 pp. 5/16    978-1-4231-7828-6    $9.99 “I am one lucky pig,” thinks Piggie, sitting contentedly back-to-back with her best friend Gerald. True enough. Over the course of twenty-five easy readers she’s been the free spirit to Gerald’s pragmatist, the […]

There Is a Bird On Your Head | Class #2, 2016

Mo Willems has become THE master of easy readers. With pre-book work including Sesame Street and animation, he had the perfect training to create child- and teacher-friendly easy readers. I think he deserves every one of his many awards. What do you notice in this deceptively simple book? What does he do with simple shapes […]

There Is a Bird On Your Head | Class #2 2015

Mo Willems has become THE master of easy readers. With pre-book work including Sesame Street and animation, he had the perfect training to create child- and teacher-friendly easy readers. I think he deserves every one of his many awards. What do you notice in this deceptively simple book? What does he do with simple shapes […]

Thanks a lot, Trixie’s Dad

…and the great Mo Willems, on Fathers’ Day, for creating dad characters who take care of their kids in a non-bumbling, matter-of-fact (if realistically exhausted and strung-out) sort of way. But, hey, also? As Megan Dowd Lambert points out: Cut it out with the nighttime bunny exchanges. You’re making the rest of us look bad. […]

There Is a Bird On Your Head!

Mo Willems has become THE master of easy readers. With pre-book work includes Sesame Street and animation, he had the perfect training to create child- and teacher-friendly easy readers. I think he deserves every one of his many awards. What do notice in this deceptively simple book? What does he do with simple shapes and […]

That Is NOT a Good Idea!

Those of you with children under the age of five are experts on Mo Willems — Knuffle Bunny, Elephant and Piggie, the Pigeon. This year’s must-have book for the Willems fan is That Is NOT a Good Idea! It’s a hilarious hybrid: part silent movie, part picture book; part cautionary tale, part inside joke. But […]

Pigeon Presents…Mo on the Go! app review

Pigeon Presents…Mo on the Go! (Hyperion, July 2013), Mo Willems’s second app, offers five activities populated by animated characters from his books. As in Don’t Let the Pigeon Run This App!, there’s lots of interactive Willems wackiness. “Leonardo’s Monster Maker” invites users to mix and match monstrous features to create a customized monster. Once completed, […]