Thursday, February 26, 2015

MARCH UPDATE!


March is looking to be a great fun Month with lots of Theater all over the country, appearances in Amherst, MA and, for the first time, New Zealand!

But first a quick look at last month:

RECAP!

What a fun month February was; starting out with a surprise call from the Geisel Committee informing me that Elephant & Piggie's WAITING IS NOT EASY! had garnered a Geisel Honor!





 This was a wonderful surprise, worth waiting for!  Thanks to the Geisel Committee!
Almost immediately afterwards I found myself at a dinner party in Los Angeles that had been planned weeks before for the regular gang to hang out.  In attendance were this year's Caldecott Medal winner (Dan Santat) and a Caldecott Honoree (Jon Klassen).  We all raised a glass and had a grand old time.

Some party crasher w/ Dan Santat & John Klassen

Then is was off to San Francisco for this year's SketchFest DON'T LET THE COMEDIANS  DO STORY TIME! show.  We had a fantastic audience who ate up the incredible job our cast did.  A real blast (we'll do it again next year, I hope)

From l to r: John Cho, Kristen Schaal, Kevin Pollak, yours truly, special nepotistic guest star Trixie, Scott Adsit, John Hodgman, Janeane Garofalo, Busy Phillipps, & Kate Micucci! (photo by Jakub Mosur, jakubmosur.com)

As if that weren't enough, my pal and neighbor Tony DiTerlizzi presented the cover reveal of our upcoming collaboration, THE STORY OF DIVA AND FLEA.  The story, set in Paris, is my first chapter book and first collaboration with Tony, who is knocking it out of the Péntanque court.  It is great fun to work with a great talent who lives just down the street.



APPEARANCES

Only 2 appearances in March, but they're spread out from 9 miles from my studio to 9,000 miles from my studio. Hope to see you at either one, but probably not both.
 

March 2, Amherst, MA

I'll be keynote speech at the Massachusetts School Library Association Conference in Amherst.  I'll also be signing

The whole event seems like its going to be great filled with a bunch of talented neighbors and pals speaking.

All details are here. 

This event is for conference attendees only.   

 
Saturday March 21, Auckland, NEW ZEALAND!

I'll be reading and signing at my first & only New Zealand appearance.  If you're in the area, I'd love for you to drop by and say 'Hello'.

The Dorthy Butler Children's Bookshop
1 Jervois Rd, Ponsoby, Aukland
tel. 09.376.7283 

10.30 am

I'm really looking forward to seeing the country and you.

RADIO




You can hear my recent stint as the Very Important Puzzler on NPR's Ask Me Another.  Fun was had by all. 

You can listen to the whole hour or just the bits that I'm in.

One bit is here (with a web-extra-out-take)

Another bit is here (also with a web-extra-out-take)

Note: this one is for the grown-ups, not the kids. 

THEATER!


4 productions of  my plays are running this month.  3 of the vaudevillian adventure ELEPHANT & PIGGIE'S WE ARE IN A PLAY! and 1 of KNUFFLE BUNNY: A CAUTIONARY MUSICAL. I hope you'll get a chance to see the shows if you're in the area!

If you can't make it to any of the shows, the original cast album of ELEPHANT & PIGGIE is available here!  

And the original cast album of KNUFFLE BUNNY is available here!


SAN ANTONIO, TX



The Magik Theater company in San Antonio opens their production on March 6 and runs until April 18.

Full info and tickets available here!

CHICAGO, IL



The Emerald City Theater's production is running all month and looks to be a fun production.


 Full info and tickets available here!


SMITHTOWN, NY

The Smithtown Center for the Performing Arts production runs on Long Island from March 14 through April 11.

Full info and tickets available here!

SAN DIEGO, CA


The North Coast Repertory Theater's production of Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical runs most of the month, opening on March 6th.

Full info and tickets available HERE!

COMIX!

Check out my comic strip of explorations and gags called FROM THE MO WILLEMS SKETCHBOOK







I'm sharing drawings from my sketchbook, dining room dinner doodles, abstractions, photo-gags, and mo' most every weekday.  I hope you'll visit the strip often and that it will provide the occasional smile or giggle.

NICE THINGS!



Thanks to you, Feb. saw THE PIGEON NEEDS A BATH! on the New York Times best seller list, sharing space with an Elephant & Piggie or two!  Thanks you!

ALA is more than just Awards.  Each year the Notables Committee selects a great list of books that are, well, notable.  I'm thrilled to find WAITING IS NOT EASY! and THE PIGEON NEEDS A BATH! on this year's list along with a slew of wonderful books.


Also, I'm thrilled that the animated version of THE DUCKLING GETS A COOKIE?! was named a notable video.  Congrats to the whole Weston Woods team and animator, pal Pete List.  The video is currently available for the school & library market and a trade video should come out soon. 

DEMOCRACY IN ACTION (AND NEBRASKA AND WISCONSIN)



THAT IS NOT A GOOD IDEA! has been nominated for Nebraska's state kid-voted citation, a Golden Sower Award as well as a Wisconsin's Golden Archer Award.  

 
I love awards that are voted on by the kids.  So, if you're a Nebraskian or Wisconsonian (?) kid, what are you waiting for? Get voting!

VIDEOS!

My pals at First Book challenged me to read as many words as possible in 10 seconds to help raise money to get books in kids hands.  You can see how I did, then try it yourself!













I was asked by ALA to create a short video about my reaction to the recent Geisel Honor for WAITING IS NOT EASY.  Here's my response:





THAT'S IT!



That's this month's post. If you want to poke around the blog, some topics that might interest you are on the sidebar.

Meanwhile, I'm sure The Pigeon will keep tweeting...

Monday, February 2, 2015

THANKS 2015 GEISEL COMMITTEE!




Last night I received word that Elephant & Piggie's WAITING IS NOT EASY! has been bestowed a 2015 Geisel Honor by the American Library Association.  While this is not my first rodeo, I can honestly say I was floored.  I approach each project as a brand new experiment, building on what I've done previously, but not copying it.  It is flattering in the extreme to see those efforts recognized by a group that approaches their job with such seriousness.

Thank you.


A big congratulations to this year's Geisel graduating class as well!  I look forward to celebrating with you at the annual convention this summer in San Francisco.  A side note and little known fact: if you win a big ALA award, you don't have to do the dishes that night!

Friday, January 30, 2015

FEBRUARY UPDATE!

APPEARANCES/EVENTS!

Lots to do this month.  Hope you can make it to one of these events in Los Angeles, San Francisco, or Amherst.

Thursday, Feb. 5, Pasadena, CA

11 am- READING & SIGNING AT VROMAN'S BOOKSTORE
 
695 E. Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91101


I'll spend the morning reading, answering questions, & signing books in my only LA area appearance for a while.  If you're in the area, please do drop by and say hello.

Details here. 


UPDATE: I hear that this appearance is SOLD OUT. Please contact the store for info about stand-by and signing.

Saturday, Feb. 7, AMHERST, MA





 -- FRIENDIVERSARY EVENT AT THE ERIC CARLE MUSEUM.
 
On FEBRUARY 7th, the Eric Carle Museum will be celebrating Friendiversary with free admission, free movies, AND free books (while they last). Here's the skinny:

10:00am - 4:00pm
Museum Admission is FREE!
The Carle has teamed up with friends from First Book to observe their Friendiversary, an annual celebration of friendship and reading. So bring a friend and join us as we celebrate books with Elephant, Piggie and a host of other Museum friends, plus a FREE Elephant and Piggie book to the first 500 children who attend! Free books compliments of Disney Publishing Worldwide.
  • Meet Elephant and Piggie!
  • Watch Films!
  • Share Storytimes!
  • Make Art!
  • Enjoy our special exhibitions!
  • Pack a picnic lunch or enjoy food from Foley’s Franks!
Need transportation to this event? FREE round-trip buses from Springfield and Holyoke, compliments of Peter Pan Bus Lines!
Bus 1 -- Leaves Springfield Station at 10:00 am; departs Museum at 2:00 pm
Bus 2 -- Leaves Holyoke Mall (Sears parking lot) at 10:30 am; departs Museum at 2:00 pm
Seating is limited—call (413) 658-1126 or email katem@carlemuseum.org to reserve bus seats. Please arrive for bus at least 15 minutes before departure. In the event of snow, please call (413) 658-1100 for cancellation news.

It will be a fun day celebrating the Friendiversary initiative with First Book. (more on that below, including how YOU can help).

Last year's event was a blast. Don't miss it.

Details here.

Saturday, Feb. 7 -SAN FRANCISCO, CA



WEST COAST LIVE
10 am - Noon 
SF Ferry Building (2nd fl)

I'll be returning to chat with Sedge Thompson live on the radio for what is always a fun show.  We'll be discussing my upcoming Sketchfest appearance and more.  So, get tickets or listen to the show on your radio or internet thingie.

Also, I'll be signing books after the show; my only SF area signing.

Full details here.

Here's a podcast from my last appearance there 2 years back.
 

Sunday, Feb. 8 - SAN FRANCISCO, CA


The cast from 2013's Don't Let the Comedians Do Storytime.
 DON'T LET THE COMEDIANS DO STORYTIME! AT SAN FRANCISCO SKETCHFEST

I'm thrilled to be back in San Francisco for a Sketchfest performance of my books as read by myself with the help of an all-star cast of comedians.  We did this 2 years ago and it was a blast.  This year's show is going to be a KNOCKOUT! 
We'll have readings!  Music! Drawing! A SNEAK PEEK of a brand-new, unpublished book!  WIth performances by an all-star roster of pals and total strangers like:

John Hodgman - Janeane Garofalo - Kristen Schaal - John Cho - Kevin Pollak - Scott Adsit - Kate Micucci - Busy Phillips - and a super-special SURPRISE GUEST!


11 am. Sunday, February 8, 2015 at the stately 
 Marines’ Memorial Theatre 
(609 Sutter St., San Francisco, CA)

The show is SOLD OUT, but there may be stand-by tickets available.

All the details and tickets available here!

 (SEE BELOW ABOUT THE SKETCHFEST T-SHIRT CONTEST)

THEATER!

Two productions of Elephant & Piggie's vaudevillian musical adventure ELEPHANT & PIGGIE'S WE ARE IN A PLAY! are running this month.  If you're in the area, I hope you'll see them.

Nashville, TN 


The Nashville Children's Theatre production of ELEPHANT & PIGGIE'S WE ARE IN A PLAY! has been running to nice reviews. The show closes Feb. 8th.

Full details and Tickets HERE!
 

CHICAGO, IL

 The EMERALD CITY THEATER production of ELEPHANT & PIGGIE'S WE ARE IN A PLAY!





The Chicago premier opens on February 14th and runs through May of 2015. Emerald City have mounted productions based on many of my books, including Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical. More info about the show and tickets is available here.

I hope you enjoy the show. And if you really like the songs, the original cast album is available as well.


HELP!




During the week of Feb. 2-8th, First Book and the Mo Willems Studio will be celebrating Elephant and Piggie's FRIENDIVERSARY! An opportunity to have fun, celebrate friendship, and insure that every 2nd grader attending a Title 1 school in New Orleans, Springfield (MA), & Holyoke (MA) will go home with their very own book to read and share with family and friends. The studio has been getting books out to kids for 8 years or so and teamed up with the really great folks at First Book 5 years ago.

I will be visiting a school in Springfield, there will be events in New Orleans, and the Eric Carle Museum will be hosting a free open day for everyone with buses provided by Peter Pan to bring kids from Holyoke and Springfield to Amherst for the event. And now you can help a school in your area! (see above for details)
 
If there's a title 1 school in your area you'd like to sponsor and help celebrate Friendiversary with First Book Edition of books for kids, special posters and activities, well then you can.

ALL THE FRIENDIVERSARY INFO IS HERE.



Mo' info about Friendiversary here (including the ever ellusive "Friendiversary Dance" in it's natural environment).

Past posts from past years about Friendiversary here.

REGISTER NOW!


I have an appearance in early March (the 2nd in fact) with a keynote speech at the Massachusetts School Library Association Conference in Amherst.  I'll also be signing

The whole event seems like its going to be great filled with a bunch of talented neighbors and pals speaking.

If you register by valentine's day you will be entered in a contest to have lunch with me (I promise I will pass the salt).

All details are here. 

This event is for conference attendees only.

NICE STUFF!



A group of children's book bloggers, fans and supporters have formed a group called the CYBILS which discuss books throughout the year and choose their favorites every February.  These guys have been very supportive of Elephant and Piggie over the past 7 or so years that I've been publishing them and I'm thrilled that that support continues as Elephant & Piggie's MY NEW FRIEND IS SO FUN! has been named a finalist for a CYBIL award this year.  Huzzah!



TIME magazine recently came up with a list of their favorite Picture Books of all TIME (get it?) and I'm flattered that both DON'T LET THE PIGEON DRIVE THE BUS! and the entire ELEPHANT & PIGGIE series made the list.

Thanks to you, both Elephant and Piggie's WAITING IS NOT EASY! and THE PIGEON NEEDS A BATH! spent a few weeks last month on the NYTimes Bestseller list!  One week, A BIG GUY TOOK MY BALL! even got to join in the fun another MY NEW FRIEND IS SO FUN took its place. Thanks, you!

 

SF Chronicle posts the 20 most checked out books in the San Francisco Library system. Yowzer! A big, special thanks to San Francisco Library patrons!


COMIX!

Check out my comic strip of explorations and gags called FROM THE MO WILLEMS SKETCHBOOK







I'm sharing drawings from my sketchbook, dining room dinner doodles, abstractions, photo-gags, and mo' most every weekday.  I hope you'll visit the strip often and that it will provide the occasional smile or giggle.

DEMOCRACY IN ACTION! 

Some of the performers at this year's Sketchfest were asked to submit T-Shirt designs for the public to vote on, with the proceeds of the winning T-Shirt to go to a charity of the artist's choice.  My design is below, my charity First Book.



 If you want to vote, please do so by Feb. 8th.

THAT'S IT!



That's this month's post. If you want to poke around the blog, some topics that might interest you are on the sidebar.

Meanwhile, I'm sure The Pigeon will keep tweeting...

Monday, December 29, 2014

JANUARY UPDATE!


HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Thanks for making 2014 such a great year at Knuffle Manor.  2015 promises to have lots of exciting events, theater performances, books, and more.  Here's a taste of what's scheduled this year as of now.

Productions of ELEPHANT & PIGGIE'S WE ARE IN A PLAY! in Nashville, TN; Syracuse, NY; Orlando, FL; and Washington, DC plus a production of Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical in Atlanta, GA.

A return of DON'T LET THE COMEDIANS DO STORYTIME! with an all-star cast at the San Francisco Sketchfest (more on that below).

A solo exhibit at The High Museum in Atlanta, GA.

The publication of brand new Elephant & Piggie adventures, older adventures in Spanish, and an exciting top-secret chapter book project.

The release of the animated version of THAT IS NOT A GOOD IDEA!

Appearances in New York, San Francisco, Amherst (MA), Dartmouth (MA), Boston, Washington (DC), New Zealand (!), and more.

GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!

While there are no events scheduled for January, but there are several exciting things  scheduled for early February which you might want to plan for.  So, here's a sneak peek:

Saturday, Feb. 7, AMHERST, MA

 -- FRIENDIVERSARY EVENT AT THE ERIC CARLE MUSEUM.




On FEBRUARY 7th, the Eric Carle Museum will be celebrating Friendiversary with free admission, free books (while they last), and special buses bringing in kids from Springfield and Holyoke for the day.  

It will be a day of fun, films, activities and friendship all celebrating the Friendiversary initiative with First Book. (more on that below, including how YOU can help).

Elephant and Piggie will be there as will guest authors.  

Last year's event was a blast. Don't miss it.

Sunday, Feb. 8 -

SAN FRANCISCO, CA

 DON'T LET THE COMEDIANS DO STORYTIME! AT SAN FRANCISCO SKETCHFEST

 
The cast from 2013's Don't Let the Comedians Do Storytime.
I'm thrilled to be back in San Francisco for a Sketchfest performance of my books as read by myself with the help of an all-star cast of comedians.  We did this 2 years ago and it was a blast.  This year's show is going to be a KNOCKOUT! 

We'll have readings!  Music! Drawing! A SNEAK PEEK of a brand-new, unpublished book!  WIth performances by an all-star roster of pals and total strangers like:


John Hodgman - Janeane Garofalo - Kristen Schaal - John Cho - Kevin Pollak - Scott Adsit - Kate Micucci - Busy Phillips - and a super-special SURPRISE GUEST!

11 am. Sunday, February 8, 2015 at the stately 
 Marines’ Memorial Theatre 
(609 Sutter St., San Francisco, CA)

The show is ALMOST SOLD OUT, but there may be stand-by tickets available.

All the details and tickets available here!


THEATER!

Starting Saturday, Feb. 14 -- 

CHICAGO, IL

 The EMERALD CITY THEATER production of ELEPHANT & PIGGIE'S WE ARE IN A PLAY!





The Chicago premier of Elephant & Piggie's vaudevillian musical adventure opens on February 14th and runs through May of 2015. Emerald City have mounted productions based on many of my books, including Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical. More info about the show and tickets is available here.

I hope you enjoy the show. And if you really like the songs, the original cast album is available as well.





If you'd like to see a production of the musical this month, then head on over to:

Nashville, TN 



The Nashville Children's Theatre production of ELEPHANT & PIGGIE'S WE ARE IN A PLAY! opens on January 15th (closing on Feb. 8th)

Full details and Tickets HERE!

HELP!




Next month during the week of Feb. 2-8th, First Book and the Mo Willems Studio will be celebrating Elephant and Piggie's FRIENDIVERSARY! An opportunity to have fun, celebrate friendship, and insure that every 2nd grader attending a Title 1 school in New Orleans, Springfield (MA), & Holyoke (MA) will go home with their very own book to read and share with family and friends. The studio has been getting books out to kids for 8 years or so and teamed up with the really great folks at First Book 5 years ago.


I will be visiting a school in Springfield, there will be events in New Orleans, and the Eric Carle Museum will be hosting a free open day for everyone with buses provided by Peter Pan to bring kids from Holyoke and Springfield to Amherst for the event. And now you can help a school in your area! (see above for details)
 
If there's a title 1 school in your area you'd like to sponsor and help celebrate Friendiversary with First Book Edition of books for kids, special posters and activities, well then you can.

ALL THE FRIENDIVERSARY INFO IS HERE.



Mo' info about Friendiversary here (including the ever illusive "Friendiversary Dance" in it's natural environment). Past posts from past years about Friendiversary here.
 
COMIX!

Check out my comic strip of explorations and gags called FROM THE MO WILLEMS SKETCHBOOK






I'm sharing drawings from my sketchbook, dining room dinner doodles, abstractions, photo-gags, and mo' most every weekday.  I hope you'll visit the strip often and that it will provide the occasional smile or giggle.

The fine follks at GoComics recently asked me to blog a bit about my work and the strips; you can see the results here.


DEMOCRACY IN ACTION




I was surprised (and very happy) to discover that, thanks to YOU, the latest Pigeon adventure, THE PIGEON NEEDS A BATH! had won the Goodreads Readers Choice award for Picture books.  Thanks to all who voted, it's a big thrill!



If you're a kid in the UK, you can vote for your favorite Picture Book of the year and help chose who will win the Red House Children's Book Award this year.  I love when kids get to vote for their faves.

I'm excited that THAT IS NOT A GOOD IDEA! is among the excellent list of nominees.  So, go on and get your vote on!

VOTING IS HERE.

A news story about the awards is here (it ends Jan. 24).

BREAD!



The celebrated Poilâne bakery in Paris has an old tradition of trading artists' work for bread.  After a year of kindness from proprietress and pal Appolonia Poilâne, I made a little abstract that I'm happy to say currently hangs in the bakery's flag-ship store.  If you're on the rue du Cherche-Midi, take a peek & pick up some "little punishments" (yum).  There is some lovely art, including a bread chandelier created for Salvador Dali.

NICE THINGS!



Thanks to YOU Elephant and Piggie's WAITING IS NOT EASY!  and THE PIGEON NEEDS A BATH! spent last month on the New York Times Bestseller list.  Thanks, you!




 The Nerdy Book Club, a group of online fans of all things kids book, picks their favorite books every year and I'm thrilled to have my entire roster for the year recognized.
THE PIGEON NEEDS A BATH! won a Nerdy for picture books.  And both of this year's Elephant & Piggie adventures, MY NEW FRIEND IS SO FUN!  and WAITING IS NOT EASY! made it on the Early Readers list.  Thanks Nerdies and thanks for reading!



The Greenbay Post Gazette likes THE PIGEON NEEDS A BATH!

A piece about book reviewing in the Houston Chronicle has nice things to say about me.

RADIO!

My appearance on NPR's ASK ME ANOTHER will broadcast in January.  But until then, here's a sneak peek where you can learn both how I pronounce "KNUFFLE" and some Dutch Bowling trivia.




THAT'S IT!



That's this month's post. If you want to poke around the blog, some topics that might interest you are on the sidebar.

Meanwhile, I'm sure The Pigeon will keep tweeting...