Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Q. I'm seeing a lot of your characters on products. Are they licensed?

Unfortunately, there have been a slew of online companies creating unlicensed products.  This is a problem for several reasons besides its illegality.  Unlicensed product hurts my actual licensees, who tend to be smaller, independent companies that contribute some of their profits towards worthy causes.  It also hurts the booksellers who sell that licensed product.  

Our recent benefit t-shirt for front line medical workers went from idea to market in record time because of our close relationship with Out of Print (the company that makes my t-shirts, masks, pins, & bags).  We raised $ 35 k with that initiative alone.

On a personal note, I have spent many years ensuring that my characters are on the side of kids and their design is pleasing. Many knock-offs are clearly on the side of adults who wants to modify children's behavior; a breaking of trust between my characters and my audience.  Also, what is up with those typefaces?

Consistent licensees include Out of Print, YottoY, and Demco.

Wernick & Pratt has offered guidelines for use of my characters and ways to spot infringement.  Please take a look.

Friday, May 15, 2020

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 on the Lost Art of Being Silly.  

An interview with Edutopia discussing my philosophy about writing for children and trying to inspire adults to play along.


Kids' Author Mo Willems Has A New Creative Challenge (And So Should You). 

A chat w/ NPR Morning Edition's Rachel Martin.  The text article serves adds a few details to the audio piece.  It was a fun conversation about my work in books and as the Kennedy Center's Education Artist-in-Residence.


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 (flattering) review of my career so far. 

Mo Willems and the art of children's books.  

This CBS Saturday Morning interview.


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.




Mo Willems& Jon Muth 

(NYTimes Podcast) Jon and I discuss City Dog Country Frog and other work.



Joyously Uncool 

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


Now Mom andDad Are Going Cartoon-Crazy, Too 

(NYTimes) Story about animation and my career before the release of Sheep in the Big City on Cartoon Network.




Q: Can you give me your biography?

Mo Willems is an author, illustrator, animator, playwright, and the inaugural Kennedy Center Education Artist-in-Residence, where he collaborates in creating fun new stuff involving classical music, opera, comedy concerts, dance, painting, and digital works with the National Symphony Orchestra, Ben Folds, Yo-Yo Ma, and others.


Willems is best known for his #1 New York Times bestselling picture books, which have been awarded three Caldecott Honors (Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, Knuffle Bunny, Knuffle Bunny Too), two Theodor Geisel Medals, and five Geisel Honors (The Elephant & Piggie series). 


Mo’s art has been exhibited around the world, including major solo retrospectives at the High Museum (Atlanta) and the New-York Historical Society (NYC). Over the last decade, Willems has become the most produced playwright of Theater for Young Audiences in America, having written or co-written four musicals based on his books. 

He began his career as a writer and animator on PBS’ Sesame Street, where he garnered six Emmy Awards (writing). Other television work includes two series on Cartoon Network: Sheep in the Big City (creator + head writer) and Codename: Kids Next Door (head writer). Mo is creating new TV projects for HBOMax, where his live action comedy special Don’t Let the Pigeon Do Storytime! currently streams. 

His papers reside at Yale University’s Beinecke Library.

Q. Can I send you fan mail?

First off, how cool that you want to write Mo!
There are many incorrect Mo Willems fan mail addresses on the internet.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we are unable to receive physical mail. 
If you would like to send Mo an e-mail, please ask a grown-up to write to:
We cannot guarantee that Mo will be able to personally respond to your e-mails, but every e-mail will receive a reply & link to a special download.

(Teachers: please do not use social media to invite Mo to attend events, skype, etc. via twitter with your students. This will only lead to unnecessary disappointment as Mr. Willems' social media accounts are neither monitored nor a forum to conduct business.)

Questions regarding rights/permissions? Contact the Wernick & Pratt agency.

NOTE: Any mail arriving to Mr. Willems' private residence is not opened.

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!). 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!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Q. I liked a drawing you posted on social media. Can I buy it?

Maybe, but not immediately.

My illustration is represented by R. Michelson Galleries in Northampton, MA.

Every March we exhibit a series of drawings, many of which have been posted on social media, as a benefit for a different, usually local, charity.

Any original drawings that are available would be viewable here.

Note: They're not cheap.  But, all the proceeds of my illustration or drawing sales goes to charity via the Mo and Cher Willems Foundation.

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.

Please do not tell your children or students that I will reply to them via social media as I do not monitor my accounts.  I do not take solicitations/offers of any kind via social media.  

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.