Subscribe to The Horn Book

Review of Welcome: A Mo Willems Guide for New Arrivals

Welcome: A Mo Willems Guide for New Arrivals
by Mo Willems; illus. by the author
Preschool    Hyperion    32 pp.
5/17    978-1-4847-6746-7    $15.99

An offstage narrator addresses listeners using the language of the hospitality industry: “THANK YOU FOR JOINING US. / Your arrival has been anxiously awaited…PLEASE / ENJOY YOUR STAY.” Our world is presented as a cruise ship–like dwelling place: “Many activities are available for you to enjoy, including, but not limited to: / SLEEPING and WAKING, / EATING and BURPING, / POOPING and MORE POOPING.” Most of the illustrations look like road signs, and because this is a Mo Willems book, the whole thing is brilliantly executed and hilarious. It’s also best suited for adults. Even precocious children will be nonplussed by features such as “YOUR LOG-IN CODE” with the corresponding illustration showing rows of white cubes in which to print one’s username, “submit log-in-code,” and, of course, “resubmit log-in code.” (“Do not worry. You do not need to know any LOG-IN codes, yet. Lucky you.”) The “…while we read this book together” refrain is comforting, but a real baby, like the one to whom the narrator is speaking, will be most engaged by the dichromatic graphics and the front-and-back-of-book mirrors (“OUR RESEARCH / INDICATES / This is / YOU”).

From the September/October 2017 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.


About Nell Beram

Nell Beram is coauthor of the young adult biography Yoko Ono: Collector of Skies (Amulet/Abrams), which made the 2014 Amelia Bloomer Project list and YALSA’s 2014 Outstanding Books for the College Bound list.

Comment Policy:
  1. Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  2. Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  3. Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use.

Speak Your Mind