Thursday, April 24, 2014

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

I’d love to get your mail.

Please send it to:

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

Note the NEW address! 

Please note that due to a sabbatical (details here), I will no longer be able to personally reply to your mail.  However, every letter will receive a regularly updated letter from me. 

Please be patient.

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

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

Do not send books to be signed.  They 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, not open Nigerian bank accounts.

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

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

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. Please see guidelines for visits.)

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, 4 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.  More information about Mo’s past, present, and future can be gleaned at

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, and 2014. 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 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. The animated Knuffle Bunny was awarded Best Film during the New York International Children’s Film Festival in 2008 and received the Andrew Carnegie Medal in 2007. The animated Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! garnered Mo his second Carnegie Medal in 2010

Mo wrote 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

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.

Here are some press photos:

photo credit: marty umans

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Q. What are your favorite interviews?

I thought you'd never ask.  Here are some interviews that will give you a sense of how I work for those of you interested or assigned to find out.


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 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 ( Essay on reading with the very young.



Talking in his Sheep ( 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.




Monday, December 5, 2011

Q. When are you coming to my town?

A. I travel quite a bit (mostly in the US, but also around the world), usually in the spring and fall and post all upcoming public appearances here  about a month prior to the events.

If I'm coming to your area, please check with the venue regarding details of the event.

If I'm not coming to your area, it's because I'm busily working on my books and/or spending time with my family.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Q: Will you speak at my group’s convention/event?

Unfortunately, probably not.

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

Usually, speaking events are booked 12-18 months in advance and are arranged via my publisher. Please contact info(at)pigeonpresents(dot)com with your proposal/request. I am currently on sabbatical through late 2014.

I am sad to say that I no longer solicit school visits, but you can get a "video visit" with the Weston Woods documentary Getting To Know Mo Willems. I also am happy to get mail from your students.  Skype and other forms of virtual visits are also not currently feasable due to time constraints.

As for my upcoming schedule, my public personal appearances can be found here.  I am always happy to meet as many kids as possible during these events.

Thank you for your understanding.

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.

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, November 7, 2007

Q: What is your next book?


Upcoming books include Elephant and Piggie's My New Friend is So Fun! and Waiting is Not Easy!