Monday, March 28, 2016


APRIL is going to be a fun month with appearances, exhibits, theater, and more!

Here are some of the highlights:


April 1st marks the 13th anniversary of the publication of my first book, DON'T LET THE PIGEON DRIVE THE BUS! It's been a wonderful ride (as you can see in this month's post) and that is thanks to YOU, my readers!

Thank you!



THE ART & WHIMSY OF MO WILLEMS at the fantastic New-York Historical Society on Central Park West & 77th st in Manhattan is currently open.

A wonderful, interactive exhibit that features my book work and earlier work for Sesame Street and Cartoon Network all with an NYC focus; you can even listen to me explain my process with an audio tour!

Elephant and Piggie will be available for special events throughout the run of the show.  There will also be regular film screenings and other events throughout the run.

Everyone at the opening was so kind and the whole family had a fantastic time.  Two things in particular stood out as very special.  

With my animation teacher (and historian) John Canemaker.
The first was being able to personally thank those who had taken a risk on me as a young, struggling artistI was an energetic kid 30 years ago, driven, but lost without a roster of professors, employers, TV writers who saw potential in me and my work.  How wonderful to be with them and tell them how much their kindness meant to me.

With Marcia Wernick, my agent of 16+ years & the cover of THE THANK YOU BOOK

The second was seeing the galleries filled with kids sprawled on the floors, reading while other kids and grown ups looked at the art and listened to the audio.  It was convivial.  It was joyful.

The exhibit runs thru September 25, 2016, after which much of the original art will rest for a bit. So, if you're in NYC, do go for a visit, it'll be a while before this stuff is out in the world again.  


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!  


The ORLANDO SHAKESPEARE THEATER's production of PIGGIE'S WE ARE IN A PLAY! (the first international showing) runs from April 7 thru May 7, 2016!

Full Details are here.


The BAY AREA CHILDREN'S THEATER production of PIGGIE'S WE ARE IN A PLAY! (the first international showing) runs in BERKLEY from April 9 thru May 1, then runs in SAN RAMON May 7 & 8, then moves to SAN FRANCISCO May 14 thru June 12, 2016!

Full Details are here.


The BRECKSVILLE THEATER ON THE SQUARE's production of of ELEPHANT & PIGGIE'S WE ARE IN A PLAY! runs April 15 & 16, 2016!

Full details are here. 

Rochester, NY

The ROSE THEATER's production of ELEPHANT & PIGGIE'S WE ARE IN A PLAY! runs from April 22 thru May 8, 2016!

Full details are here.


The CARDINAL STAGE's production of ELEPHANT & PIGGIE'S WE ARE IN A PLAY! runs from April 30th thru May 15, 2016!

Full details are here.


It's not just Elephant & Piggie: the Beaverton Civic Theater's production of KNUFFLE BUNNY: A CAUTIONARY MUSICAL runs on April 9 and April 16, 2016!
Full details are here. 

Speaking of theater, here's a nice local piece about a recent production of WE ARE IN A PLAY! that toured elementary schools.  I'm overjoyed to see young actors connecting with younger audiences as they expose kids to the greatness of live theater while also promoting books.  Hooray!


Some very nice mentions and reviews in March (many about the exhibit at the N-Y Historical Society).


The NEW YORK TIMES devoted a bunch of ink on reviewing the exhibit.  Their take on my work is extraordinarily flattering.  When you read something like: "If there’s a living creator of children’s books who stands a chance of occupying a cultural position akin to a Dr. Seuss or a Charles M. Schulz, it’s Mr. Willems," it's hard not to blush.

The review his HERE. 

The NYT also created a list of questions to ask after reading the above review for educators and parents, which is HERE. 

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY visited a pre-opening tour of the exhibit and filed this nice report.

Meanwhile, Elephant & Piggie visited the studios of NEW YORK 1.  The report is hilarious.

This post has some great photos from the exhibit (before the kids took over).

This article shows what it's like when the kids take over! 

There are more published perspectives on the exhibit:
Here's a nice overview of the exhibit from Red Tricycle.

Here's a nice piece from DNAinfo. 

Here's a take from a Cartoonist in NEW YORK FAMILY.

Here's a nice piece from FINE BOOKS & COLLECTIONS. 
Ideas & Inspiration from Demco

If you're planning to see this exhibit (or even if you can't) Demco has an informative post entitled HOW TO USE MO WILLEMS BOOKS TO INSPIRE STUDENT PROJECTS.  Worth a look. 



Publishers' Weekly had a feature piece about Elephant and Piggie, the exhibit at the N-Y Historical Society, and this fall's NANETTE'S BAGUETTE.

From left to right: Mo Willems, Jonathan Coulton, Ophira Eisenberg, Phil Johnston, Steve Sansweet and Art Chung.

NPR'S ASK ME ANOTHER had me drop by and show my lack of animation knowledge in San Francisco along with Zootopia writer Phil Johnston.  Listen (without the kids) here!


Just one appearance in April, but it will be a fun, local one!



Sat. April 9

I'll be jumping around and reading, followed by a signing at the new Easthampton High School Auditorium, 70 Williston Ave, Easthampton, MA

Doors open at 9:30 am

Reading (and jumping around and Q+A) at 10 am

Signing at 10:40 am   

This show is SOLD OUT.  There may be stand-by available. 

The Easthampton Book Fest is relatively new, FREE, & fun! There are all sorts of events planned around town for the whole day. HERE's an article laying out some of the fun.


May 3rd will see the publication of the final Elephant and Piggie adventure, one that I wrote and drew just for you: THE THANK YOU BOOK.

It's been amazing fun to spend time discovering new things with these two friends for 25 stories over the last decade.  Thank you for your support in allowing me to take this journey.

There will be many fun bonuses, downloads, events, and surprises accompanying the release of THE THANK YOU BOOK including a special exhibition at the R. Michelson Galleries including original drawings from each of the 25 books (something that may not happen again).

There are many more surprises coming, so stay tuned, and THANK YOU! 

Mo Willems. Photo by Nick Clark

Speaking of future exhibits, I'll have a slew of work at an upcoming exhibit entitled GET THE PICTURE this summer at the Brandywine Museum with 7 wonderful illustrator/pals. Curator Nick Clark recently posted some images from a recent visit to my studio, which you can view here.

Also, if you're a member of the NATIONAL CARTOONIST SOCIETY, be warned that I'll be hosting the schmancy, black-tie Annual Reuben Awards in Memphis, TN this May 26-29 (it's the only way I could get Tom Richmond to draw me). Despite that, it should be a great weekend!

It's not just me; there's a whole team of cartoonists working to make sure this turns out to be a fun show.

(Non-members may attend as well, but you'll have to check out the NCS for ticket details)


The folks at DEMCO have a new line of The Pigeon, Elephant & Piggie, and Knuffle Bunny stuff, including book marks, bags, posters, mugs and mo'!

They're great fun for teachers, librarians, kids, or you!

You can check them all out HERE! 


The folks at the N-Y Historical Society have opened up a MOseum Store with special, limited edition items featuring the Pigeon of Liberty.  Even you can't make it to the exhibit, you can check out the stuff HERE!  

Get on down to your local indie book store on April 30th for Independent Bookstore Day and pick up your HOW TO DRAW with instructions on drawing your favorite pals!  Tell 'em Mo sent ya!


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...