Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Q. What are your favorite interviews?

Here are some interviews that will give you a sense of how I work for those of you interested or assigned to find out.


Mo Willems's Funny Failures The New Yorker has an in-depth look at my career, philosophy, and more.  There is also an accompanying New Yorker Radio Hour interview where we musicals and I read from a few books.

There is No Formula.  A podcast, The YARN, speaks at length and in depth about the hows and whys of my work.


Mo Willems and the Art of the Children's Book.  This New York Times review of my retrospective exhibit at the New-York Historical Society is also a  (very flattering) review of my career so far. 

Mo Willems and the art of children's books.  This CBS Saturday Morning interview includes behind the scenes shots and a few comments by the teen-aged Trixie. 


The Pigeon Is On A Game Show. I joined the cast of NPR's ASK ME ANOTHER to talk about my career and answer questions poorly.


CBS SUNDAY interview with Rita Braver.  A nice piece that chronicles my career, my work in theater, philosophy, and why Paris. 


TODAY show interview with Al Roker.  We had a blast doodling all over the place, plus Al gives a nice overview of my work.



A Rival for Pigeon (NPR's Morning Edition) A fun chat about Pigeon, Duckling, Death, and Why Parents are Cool.


Mo Willems is the go-to author for children — and their parents (Washington Post) A lovely feature piece about my work and career with great pictures of kids yelling.



 Guilt for dinner: The MoWillems interview (Time Out Chicago) Fun interview on my writing philosophy.


'Elephant and Piggie' author Mo Willems on his latest best-seller and his new Pigeon app (Entertainment Weekly.com) Self explanatory, fun interview.

 Zena Sutherland Lecture: “Why Books” (Horn Book) A transcription of a speech I delivered in Chicago.




Seriously Funny (Northampton Gazette) My local paper writes one of the best features on me yet.


Mo Willems& Jon Muth (NYTimes Podcast) Jon and I discuss City Dog Country Frog and other work.




 Getting Adults to Draw (NPR’s All Things Considered)I get Michelle Norris to doodle, and she likes it.

Joyously Uncool (Trap Door Sun) Interview on my process and book work.




MakeReading “Mo” Fun (Scholastic.com) Essay on reading with the very young.



Talking in his Sheep (AWN.com) long interview about Sheep in the Big City and my career up to that point.


Now Mom andDad Are Going Cartoon-Crazy, Too (NYTimes) Story about animation and my career before the release (and immediate failure) of Sheep in the Big City

I hope you enjoy.




Friday, November 6, 2015

Q. Is The Pigeon really hiding in every one of your books? Why can't I find him?

A.  It's true.  The Pigeon hates it when I make books that aren't about him.  So, he hides in every book I've ever illustrated.  He's easy to spot in DON'T LET THE PIGEON DRIVE THE BUS!, but harder to spot in some of my other ones.

If you can't find The Pigeon, you probably haven't looked hard enough (some of them are tricky!).

The Pigeon is also hidden in every ELEPHANT & PIGGIE LIKE READING! adventure as well.

It could also be that you're reading a specially bound book for schools or libraries. Sometimes the binders or librarians remove pages or put stickers over the hidden Pigeon.  Even The Pigeon can't do anything about that!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Q. May I have your email address? Will you answer my Tweets? May I send you a letter?

I’d love to get your mail.

Please send it to:

Mo Willems Fan Mail
c/o Rock Dove
Hyperion Books for Children (and Pigeons)
125 West End Avenue, 3rd Floor
New York, New York 10023

Please note that due volume, I can no longer be able to personally reply to every single letter.  However, every letter received is important and will receive a regularly updated letter from me. 

Please be patient.

Teachers, a cover letter with the grade of your students is appreciated.

If you have a question regarding rights/permissions, contact my agent Marcia Wernick at Wernick & Pratt.

Now the un-fun bit:

Please note, packages or books to be signed cannot be accepted and will be returned.

No pitches, business opportunities, offers, or book ideas will be considered. Fan mail is for me to communicate directly with my readers.

As for other sorts of correspondence, I'm afraid time constraints & privacy concerns do not allow for me to email with my fans.

My residence is private; any mail that comes to it from persons unknown is not opened.

I don't Tweet, but The Pigeon does.  It would be silly to expect a pigeon to reply to your twitter missives.  

(Teachers: please do not invite Mo to attend events, skype, etc. via twitter with your students.  Twitter is not a place for such invitations and will only lead to unnecessary disappointment.)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Q: Can you give me your biography?

Sure, here's the medium version:

Mo Willems’ works in children’s books, animation, television, theater, and bubble gum card painting have garnered him 3 Caldecott Honors, 2 Geisel Medals, 6 Emmy Awards, 5 Geisel Honors, a Helen Hayes nomination, and multiple bubble gum cards. 

He is best know for his characters Knuffle Bunny, The Pigeon, and Elephant and Piggie and his work as a writer and animator for PBS's Sesame Street.  He is worst known for  his work on Cartoon Network's Sheep in the Big City and Nickelodeon's The Off-Beats. Mo also makes sculptures and writes plays. More information can be gleaned at www.mowillems.com

Here's the long version:

#1 New York Times Bestseller Mo Willems began his career as a writer and animator for PBSSesame Street, where he garnered 6 Emmy Awards for his writing. During his nine seasons at Sesame Street, Mo also served as a weekly commentator for BBC Radio and created two animated series, Nickelodeon’s The Off-Beats and Cartoon Network’s Sheep in the Big City.

While serving as head writer for Cartoon Network’s #1 rated show, Codename: Kids Next Door, Mo began writing and drawing books for children. His debut effort, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! became a New York Times Bestseller and was awarded a Caldecott Honor in 2004. The following year Knuffle Bunny: a Cautionary Tale was awarded a Caldecott Honor. The sequel, Knuffle Bunny Too: a Case of Mistaken Identity garnered Mo his third Caldecott Honor in 2008.

In addition to picture books, Mo created the Elephant and Piggie books, a series of “Easy Readers”, which were awarded the Theodor Suess Geisel Medal in 2008 and 2009 and  Geisel Honors in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015. For older audiences he has published an illustrated memoir of his year-long trip around the world in 1990-91 entitled You Can Never Find a Rickshaw When it Monsoons and Don't Pigeonhole Me!, a collection of 20 years of his annual sketchbooks. His books have been translated into over 20 languages.

Mo’s drawings, wire sculptures, and sculpture have exhibited in numerous galleries and museums across the nation, including major retrospectives at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA, the High Museum in Atlanta, GA, The New-York Historical Society, The Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, and the Seongnam Arts Center in Seoul, South Korea.  His graphic story about his family experiences during 9-11 for DC comics resides in the Library of Congress’ permanent collection.

Mo has been heard on NPR’s All Things Considered, where he briefly served as the broadcast’s ‘Radio Cartoonist’. Mo voices and produces animated cartoons based on his books with Weston Woods studios which have been screened at festivals around the world and won Best Film during the New York International Children’s Film Festival and 3 Carnegie Medals from the American Library Association.


Mo has written the script and lyrics for Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical and Elephant and Piggie's WE ARE IN A PLAY! Both plays commissioned by and debuted at  the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC and consistently run in productions around the nation. His rock opera, NAKED MOLE RAT GETS DRESSED, premiered at the Seattle Children's Theater in 2018.

His monumental sculpture, The Red Elephant, can be viewed in the courtyard of the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.

Mo lives in Massachusetts with his family.

Here's the short version:

Mo Willems makes funny drawings that hopefully will make you laugh.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Q: Can you visit/skype with my class or attend one of my events?

Unfortunately, no.

While I really enjoy visiting groups, my hectic schedule has become detrimental to giving both my family and my work the attention they need.

With that in mind I no longer solicit school visits*, but you can get a "video visit" with the Weston Woods documentary Getting To Know Mo Willems.

Skype and other forms of virtual visits are also not feasible.  But I recorded a 40 minute virtual visit with the New York Times that is very much like a digital visit. You can check out an archived post of the broadcast here

Please note: I do not take any solicitations of any kind via social media.  In fact, I probably haven't seen them.

Thank you for your understanding.

*If you see that I've made a visit somewhere, pls. don't be angry.  It would be in conjunction with a charity that I work with and support, such as First Book.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Q: If Elephant's name is Gerald, why doesn't Piggie have a name?

A: Piggie does have a name.  Her name is "Piggie".  She was named that because when she was born she looked just like a little Piggie.  Also, Madonna, Beyonce, and Cher were taken.

"Elephant Gerald" is named after my favorite singer (say it fast).

(Grown ups, you can see more about my naming decisions for these characters in this interview)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Q. Is “Knuffle Bunny” a true story?

A. Everything about that story is completely true, except for the parts I made up.

Why don't you make up a true story?  It's fun!