For Kids: Give Me Some Mo
by Tif Sweeney
Over the last couple of months, I have featured a monthly review focusing on titles for adults; however, this month I have decided to change things up and share with you a favorite children’s author. Being a parent to two small children, nightly storytime is the favorite time in our home. It is not uncommon for us to pick up the classic authors, such as Dr. Seuss, H.A. Rey, Eric Carle, or Sandra Boynton, but our recent favorite is the fabulous author and illustrator, Mo Willems.
Willems began his career on the TV classic, Sesame Street before venturing into the world of children’s picture books. He has won a multitude of awards, including two Geisel Medals for his Elephant and Piggie series and the acclaimed Caldecott Honor for Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale, and Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity. His work has received much recognition and as a parent, I can confirm that it is all very much deserved. And, if you are wondering where to begin, let me share a few of our personal favorites . . .
What’s Your Sound, Hound the Hound? is the first in the Cat the Cat series designed for the youngest readers. Cat introduces us to other animal friends and the sounds they make–that is, until we meet a friend that leaves us all wondering what sound will come from its lips. The reader anxiously awaits to see how Cat and his friends will respond to the question “What’s your sound . . .?”
One of Willems’ most notable characters is Pigeon, one that frequently makes cameo appearances in many of his other books. The book in this series that my children always turn to is The Pigeon Wants a Puppy! Pigeon tells readers how much he would love and care for a puppy, until one appears making him quickly change his mind. We are all left giggling at his newest pet desire.
Last, but not least, is my personal favorite series featuring the loveable characters of Elephant and Piggie. The two unlikeliest of friends share their adventures with little lessons learned in every tale. The books are great read-a-longs with early readers each taking the role of the series title characters. Though my personal favorite is There Is a Bird on Your Head!, detailing the story of a bird who makes his home on Elephant’s crown, every book in this series leaves me as a parent wanting only mo’ or Willems’ humor.
There is truly so much more by this author that I cannot even begin to detail here. I recommend you hit your local library or bookstore to discover the brilliance of Willems for yourself. For more on his life and his works, including some interactive pages for children and adults, visit these websites: