For those who read children’s books on a nightly basis, Mo Willems is a welcome break from the overly crafted rhyming tales of watercolor morality and social justice. He writes and draws brilliant nonsense and fun. Perfect for kids and wonderfully entertaining for parents. So, here are my 5 reasons to love his work. Feel free to add your own.
- He doesn’t rhyme – He apparently wasn’t listening when Mother Goose famously said, “Stories that don’t rhyme are crap!” Madame Goose was particularly crass off the clock.
- He breaks patterns – From stories about a pigeon craving a hot dog to a naked mole rat who shirks convention by donning slacks, he’s drawing from a deep well and each story is nothing if not unique and engaging. Need some great potty instruction for the wee ones? He’s got a book on that too.
- He hides a pigeon in almost every book, except the books about the Pigeon, of course. His ambitious and temperamental Pigeon just won’t be ignored.
- He keeps things simple – Lots of white space, uncluttered lines, and not an extra word between the covers. And with style.
- He worked on Sesame Street – Sharing that distinction with Bud Luckey, veteran Pixar animator responsible for the 1975 Sesame Street classic, Ladybug’s Picnic, and proving that it’s a real place in spite of what my wife says.
So I’ve become a true fan of the bunny, the elephant, the piggie, the alligator, the mole rat, and of course, the “cat the cat.” Thanks, Mo. Keep making it good fun.