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Review of Sam, the Most Scaredy-Cat Kid in the Whole World

Sam, the Most Scaredy-Cat Kid in the Whole World by Mo Willems; illus. by the author Preschool    Hyperion    48 pp. 9/17    978-1-368-00214-1    $17.99 As fans of Leonardo, the Terrible Monster (rev. 9/05) will remember, monster Leonardo’s buddy Sam is “the most scaredy-cat kid in the whole world.” In this sequel, Sam and Leonardo meet another […]

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 […]