Mo Willems By: Renee Whaley &Darcy Stallone EDRL 407 Part I-Renee Whaley Part II-Darcy Stallone
Who is Mo Willems? • Mo Willems is an author/illustrator of books as well as writer and animator for television • He has written Nickelodeon’s The Off-Beats and Cartoon Network’s Sheep in the Big City • He even wrote for Sesame Street where he won 6 Emmy Awards! • He is best known for his series of books: The Pigeon Series and An Elephant and Piggie Book series and, his Knuffle Bunny books • He makes the reader an active part of each book he writes • His favorite books to make are the Elephant and Piggie books • He likes to write books “about characters who are unable to get what they want or unable to get what they think they want” • Willems feeds of his character’s frustration and he thinks it makes his books funny
Awards • Six Emmy Awards for his writings on Sesame Street (from 1993-2002) • Caldecott Honor 2004- Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! • Caldecott Honor 2005- Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale • Bccb Blue Ribbon Picture Book Award- Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale • Caldecott Honor 2008- Knuffle Bunny: A Case of Mistaken Identity • Theodor Suess Geisel Medal 2008 and 2009- Elephant and Piggie series for Easy Readers • Theodor Suess Geisel Honor 2011- Elephant and Piggie series of Easy Readers • Best Film during New York International Children’s Film Festival 2008- Knuffle Bunny • Andrew Carnegie Medal 2007- Knuffle Bunny • Andrew Carnegie Medal 2010- Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!
Award Winning Book • Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale This book is about a little girl named Trixie who has a favorite stuffed animal, Knuffle Bunny. Trixie and her dad take a trip to the Laundromat where Knuffle Bunny goes missing! The book is a classic example of how things always seem to go wrong when Dad is left in charge.
Caldecott Medal & Honor Award Terms • The Medal shall be awarded annually to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children published by an American publisher in the United States in English during the preceding year. There are no limitations as to the character of the picture book except that the illustrations be original work. Honor books may be named. These shall be books that are also truly distinguished. Criteria • In identifying a “distinguished American picture book for children,” defined as illustration, committee members need to consider: • Excellence of execution in the artistic technique employed; • Excellence of pictorial interpretation of story, theme, or concept; • Appropriateness of style of illustration to the story, theme or concept; • Delineation of plot, theme, characters, setting, mood or information through the pictures; • Excellence of presentation in recognition of a child audience. • Each book is to be considered as a picture book. The committee is to make its decision primarily on the illustration, but other components of a book are to be considered especially when they make a book less effective as a children’s picture book. Such other components might include the written text, the overall design of the book, etc.
Why Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale Won the Caldecott Honor • This book won the award because: • The story is a true-to-life situationabout what happens when Dad is left in charge • The illustrations are vivid and expressive • The illustrations are drawn on real life, black and white pictures of Brooklyn, New York • The dialogue between the characters is realistic to the reader • The book appeals to ALL readers
Audience, Grade Level, Genre • Audience: Young Children-’Early Readers’ • Grade level: Elementary grades • Genre: Children’s books
Examples of Mo WillemsWorks: • You can Never Find a Rickshaw When it Monsoons • Pigeon Series (6) • Elephant and Piggie Series (15) • Knuffle Bunny Books (3) • Edwina, the Dinosaur Who Didn’t Know She Was Extinct • Leonardo, the Terrible Monster • Time to Pee! • Time to Say “Please”! • Naked Mole Rate Gets Dressed • Big Frog Can’t Fit In • Cat the Cat Series (4) • City Dog, Country Frog • Hooray for Amanda and Her Alligator! • I Broke My Trunk! *All children’s and early reader’s books*
Resources • http://freshfiction.com/author.php?id=20165 • http://mowillemsfaq.blogspot.com/2007/10/q-can-you-give-me-your-biography.html • http://www.pigeonpresents.com/grownup.aspx • http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/caldecottmedal/caldecottterms/caldecottterms • Google Images-All pictures
Mo Willems Part II
Mo Willems Born: February 11, 1968 Raised in New Orleans and attended Isidore Newman School Graduated Cum Laude New York City Tisch School of the Arts Married with one daughter and resides in North Hampton, Ma.
Early Influences: Charles Schulz and the Peanuts Gang Saul Steinberg FiepWestendorp These artists were simplistic in style and melancholic in their work which inspired much of Mo Willems own personal work.
Achievements Caldecott Award Carnegie Medal Giesel Award Emmy Awards Knuffle Bunny Knuffle Bunny Too Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! There Is a Bird on Your Head! Are You Ready to Play Outside? Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! Knuffle Bunny Sesame Street The Off-Beats Sheep in the Big City Codename: Kids Next Door.
Why Children's Books: The reasons for writing books are personal and selfish. With having a child of his own and making shows on T.V. for kids, it was contradictory. He was not at home and yet writing for what his child watched on television. Books do not need electricity or to be turned on. Different voices can be used for the characters. Children can draw the characters. It makes time for laughter. Children relate to the real life emotions his characters have.
“When you make a book, you can really make an experiment because there’s not that much invested in it, which allows you a lot more freedom to just do weird stuff. And ironically, the weirder it is, the better it’s going to be”.
He has been drawing cartoons since childhood, Charlie Brown being a favorite. Believes he is an utilitarian craftsman as he creates well developed stories and drawings that both children and adults can reuse. He is more interested in understanding his audience than his audience understanding about him. Has always wanted to write and draw funny stuff, from about age 4 or so.
Mo Willems does his own illustrations for his books but has done some collaborative work with others. Knuffle Bunny has come to life and become a collaborative musical with Michael Silversher, Rosemary Newcott, and Paige Hernandez all contributing to the book coming to life.
Much like a 3 year old, children will see that Pigeons actions are much like their own. Children may relate to Trixie's need for Knuffle Bunny as they might have an item they cannot live without. The fun stories will make children who are new to reading want to read all of the series of Elephant and Piggie.
Mo Willems is an accomplished: Author Illustrator Comedian Entertainer Television Writer He uses spare and poignant text but his stories are understood by everyone.
Resources • http://www.nccil.org/experience/artists/willemsm/index.htm • http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Mo_Willems&oldid=444563305 • Interview Source • http://readkiddoread.ning.com/page/mo-willems • Images • Google Search