Catching up with the New Yorker recently, I not only laughed out loud at Rivka Glachen’s profile of children’s author and illustrator Mo Willems – Funny Failures – but also connected to this children’s author’s wry outlook. I needed to find his books.
A quick search showed ninety-eight of his titles in my local library system, so I returned to the article to note those highlighted in the five page article. Two have won Caldecott Honors – Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus (2004) and Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale (2005). Another I added, just to meet the elephant and the pig in We Are in a Book.
Knuffle Bunny may remind you of the last time you lost something in the laundry; the pigeon is hilarious – what’s the first thing any child wants to do when told not to? As for the elephant and the pig, I dare you not to say “BANANA” when you read their book.
Although Willems’ books are identified as Easy Readers, in the same vein as Eric Carle or P.D. Eastman, his animals are funny in their anxiety and resilient in their failures – a lesson for adults as well as children. Give yourself a laugh; find Mo Willems.