Friday, January 29, 2016

FEBRUARY UPDATE!

February is going to be a fun month!  Here are some of the highlights:
 
THEATER! 

Quite a few productions of Elephant & Piggie's musical are running around the country this month.  Go see a show 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!  

TOURING


The Kennedy Center remount of the vaudevillian adventure ELEPHANT & PIGGIE'S WE ARE IN A PLAY!  is currently touring doing a mixture of school performances and public shows.

Public shows for February are:



February 17  -  Las Vegas, NV The Smith Center for the Performing Arts


February 26   -  Glen Ellyn, IL McAninch Arts Center

I hope you'll get a chance to see the shows if you're in the area!

More info about upcoming performances are here

The KC has also a fun resource of videos for students to learn about the creation of the original production.

Here are the school performance cities and dates.

But that's not all.  Other companies are mounting their own productions of the musical, including:

Colorado Springs, CO


The Fine Arts Theater production of ELEPHANT & PIGGIE'S WE ARE IN A PLAY! remounts and runs runs from February 13 - March 13, 2016

Full details are here.

PALO ALTO, CA


The Palo Alto production of ELEPHANT & PIGGIE'S WE ARE IN A PLAY! runs thru February 14, 2016.

Full details are here.

SINGAPORE!

The Players Theatre Group production of PIGGIE'S WE ARE IN A PLAY! (the first international showing) runs from February 27 - March 13, 2016.

Full details are here! 

HELP!




During the week of Feb. 1-7th, 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 9 years or so and teamed up with the really great folks at First Book 6 years ago.

This year there will be events in New Orleans, I'll be visiting a school, 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 below 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.

EVENTS!

I'm afraid that I have no public appearances in February (I'll be back on the road during March), but that doesn't mean that my pals Elephant and Piggie won't be busy.  You can visit them this month at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA on

Saturday, Feb. 6, 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!
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.

NICE THINGS!

The animated version of THAT IS NOT A GOOD IDEA!, co-produced by Paul Gagne at Weston Woods, animated by Pete List, starring Cher Willems was awarded a Carnegie Medal for Video productions by the American Library Association!. I also did voice work and co-producted as well.

This is a big thrill, as animation is near to my heart.  I've written, animated, or produced at least one short film every year since 1988 and have, for the past decade been able to do that with a great team at Weston Woods while incorporating my family as voice actors. The film is great fun and on the disc you can see a wonderful documentary written,shot, and produced by my teenage daughter, Trixie. Thank you Carnegie Committee. 


Currently, the only edition of the film available is for School and Library Market.  A commercial edition should be released soon.



Thanks to you, The Story of Diva and Flea spent a few more weeks in January on the New York Times Bestseller list.  Thanks, you, from me (and Tony)!

Diva and Flea were also named on the prestigious Texas 2x2 list along with some other great books.  This is my first time on the list and I'm thrilled!  Thx Texan librarians!

The Seattle Children's Theater's production of ELEPHANT & PIGGIE'S WE ARE IN A PLAY! was given a Footlight award for children's theater by The Seattle Times.

UPCOMING!


Next month will see the opening of THE ART & WHIMSY OF MO WILLEMS at the fantastic New-York Historical Society on Central Park West in Manhattan.

It's going to be a great exhibit featuring my book work and earlier work for Sesame Street and Cartoon Network all with an NYC focus.  

I'll be attending a raft of opening weekend events and signings on March 18 & 19th.

The exhibit will run thru September of 2016, so if you're in NYC, do go for a visit.  

Speaking of NYC, it looks like plans for a Knuffle Bunny statue on the grounds of my old public library (just down the street from the Knuffle Bunny Laundromat) are moving forward!

This is very exciting news for Trixie and the whole Knuffle Bunny family.  

THAT'S IT!


If you want to poke around the blog, some topics that might interest you are on the sidebar. 



If you'd like to see some of my cartoons and doodles, check out FROM THE MO WILLEMS SKETCHBOOK., which features 25 months of drawings and ideas from Paris, France, Northampton, MA, and beyond. They're currently re-running, so you can see a new drawing every day!

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


Monday, January 11, 2016

Thank you Carnegie Committee!

The animated version of THAT IS NOT A GOOD IDEA! starring Cher Willems & myself has been awarded the 2016 Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Video Recordings for Children.

Thanks and congrats to co-producer Paul Gagne at Weston Woods and animator extraordinaire, Pete List.

Huzzah!


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

JANUARY 2016 UPDATE!


Happy 2016.  Here's wishing you a year filled with health, happiness, and books!

We've got a full year of events and announcements planned.  There will be new books, new exhibits, and mo'!

But for now, January.

APPEARANCES!

SAN FRANCISCO SKETCHFEST!
 



I'm excited about being part of the San Francisco Sketchfest again at the end of January, 2016.  This will be my 3rd appearance at the fest and my 1st doing material for grown-ups in addition to our family show..

They are as follows:



MO WILLEMS' WRITING FOR KIDS FOR GROWN-UPS!

SATURDAY, JANUARY 23, 7.30pm
Doc's Lab (124 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94133) 

#1 NYTimes bestselling author and illustrator Mo Willems discusses his work for children in a bar setting while cursing like a sailor who just won 2nd place in a sailor-cursing contest. An intimate evening of comedy, cartoon processes, personal story, and story structure from a 6-time Emmy Award, 3-time Caldecott Honor, 2-time Geisel Medal winner and notorious potty mouth. 
FULL DETAILS AND TICKETS for this special show HERE!




DON'T LET THE COMEDIANS DO STORYTIME!

SUNDAY, JANUARY 24, 11am
Marines Memorial Theatre (609 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA 94102)

Featuring the StoryTime All-Stars

John Cho!
Janeane Garofalo! 
Mary Holland! 
Brian Huskey! 
Jonathan Katz! 
Phoebe Robinson!
Kate Micucci! 
Matt Walsh! 
 and yours truly.  
 #1 NYTimes bestselling author and illustrator Mo Willems returns to Sketchfest with another stellar group of close personal acquaintances and comedy royalty to perform some of his best-loved books featuring The Pigeon, Elephant & Piggie, and Knuffle Bunny! Fun for all, it's a morning or laughs, singing, drawing, a sneak-peek premier of an unpublished book, and Mo.
 FULL DETAILS AND TICKETS HERE!

Tickets for these shows tend to sell out (the Storytime show was 1/2 sold out in the first hour), so if you're in SF at the end of January, get your tickets and come on by to either (or both) of my shows.

THEATER!

Quite a few productions of Elephant & Piggie's musical are running around the country this month.  Go see a show 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!  

WASHINGTON, DC


The Kennedy Center is remounting the vaudevillian adventure ELEPHANT & PIGGIE'S WE ARE IN A PLAY!  The show runs through January 6th.

Tickets and information are here!

After that, the show is going ON TOUR.  They'll be doing a mixture of school performances and public shows.

Public shows for January are:



January 17 

Fort Lauderdale, FL Broward Center for the Performing Arts
 
January 31 

Austin , TX The Paramount Theatre

I hope you'll get a chance to see the shows if you're in the area!

More info about upcoming performances are here

The KC has also a fun resource of videos for students to learn about the creation of the original production.

But that's not all.  Other companies are mounting their own productions of the musical, including:

COLUMBUS, OH

The CATCO theater production of ELEPHANT & PIGGIE'S WE ARE IN A PLAY! runs from January 15-24.

Full details are here.


LA CRESCENT, MN
The La Crescent Fine Arts Center production of ELEPHANT & PIGGIE'S WE ARE IN A PLAY! runs from January 23-24.

Full details are here.

PALO ALTO, CA
The production of ELEPHANT & PIGGIE'S WE ARE IN A PLAY! runs from January 28- February 14.

Full details are here.

PLAY THE PLAY WITH CAT THE CAT! 


In November, while visiting Atlanta to see the SERIOUSLY SILLY Exhibit at the High Museum (see below) I managed to catch a production of the Alliance Theater's Theater for the Very Young production of PLAY THE PLAY WITH CAT THE CAT!  It was a wonderful production, both in terms of the costumes and the cast.  Each kid had opportunities to participate in the play and I was charmed the whole time.

Happily, the play has been extended, with dates from January 8th - 10th.

Tickets and info are here!

EXHIBITS!

 ATLANTA, GA

SERIOUSLY SILLY: THE ART & WHIMSY OF MO WILLEMS is on view at the HIGH MUSEUM in Atlanta, GA!


The exhibit is based on the 2013 solo show at the Eric Carle Museum, with added original work and cool interactive stuff. Don't miss it!

The crowds have been great, with families spending lots of time hanging out with the art and books. I'm very excited about the exhibit and hope you'll have a blast viewing it! 






The exhibit closes on January 10th! 


NORTHAMPTON, MA


The R Michelson Galleries presents its 26th annual Children's Illustration Exhibit, which closes January 15th, 2016.

Truly a who's who, the exhibit will feature recent work from a slew of impressive illustrators, many of them Caldecott medalists or honorees.  I'm happy to have some recent Elephant and Piggie work in the show.

Full details are here.
  

NICE THINGS!


School Library Journal named the animated version of GOLDILOCKS & THE 3 DINOSAURS one of the top DVD's of the year.  The cartoon was a blast to make & I hope you enjoy it.

Audio File Magazine gave the audio version of THAT IS NOT A GOOD IDEA! an Earphone Award for 2015 and a great review, saying: "The drama and timing of the audio, written words, and illustrations combine for a triple treat." Congrats to Cher Willems for her wonderful performance!
 

Booklist named THE STORY OF DIVA & FLEA as one of their Editor's Choice best books for the year!



Minnesota Public Radio agrees.

http://matchbin-assets.s3.amazonaws.com/public/sites/2518/assets/EKNM_SF_12.9_FSR_library_rw.jpg

Last November, I was lucky enough to receive the Milner Award, voted on by kids across Atlanta.  In addition to getting a cool, yet delicate, award, I made a presentation for a couple of thousand Atlanta students.  It was a blast!  Thanks guys! 

FAVORITES?
 
If you're curious as to what my favorite poem is, the New York Times asked me and and bunch of folk.  Here are the answers.

Are you curious about your favorite children's authors' favorite children's books from their childhoods?  Well, Publishers Weekly has the skinny. 

THAT'S IT!


Thanks for a wonderful 2015.  This year will be a busy one with new books, new collaborations, exhibits (including one at the New York Historical Society), award show hosting, and visits to San Francisco, New York, Easthampton MA, Northampton MA, Chicago, Memphis, Seattle, Orlando, Italy, and Los Angeles, and mo'!

If you want to poke around the blog, some topics that might interest you are on the sidebar. 



If you'd like to see some of my cartoons and doodles, check out FROM THE MO WILLEMS SKETCHBOOK., which features 25 months of drawings and ideas from Paris, France, Northampton, MA, and beyond.

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