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. He is worst known for his characters in Sheep in the Big City and The Off-Beats.  More information about Mo’s past, present, and future 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, 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 19 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