Thursday, April 28, 2016


MAY is going to be a very busy, fun month with loads of appearances, exhibits, theater, and more!

Here are some of the highlights:

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.

Every copy from the first printing will come with a special Elephant & Piggie surprise!  Spoiler alert: it's this awesome framed E+P stand!

You can get your copy of THE THANK YOU BOOK at your favorite local bookstore or library. Mo' info HERE!

Here are the 25 books in the order they were published (from the bottom up).  You will notice that starting with WE ARE IN A BOOK!, the colors started to become bolder.


To celebrate the publication of THE THANK YOU BOOK, we've created a brand-new THANK-O-RAMA website THANKORAMA.COM where you can use a spinner to figure out whom to thank, download special thank you notes,  make puppets and much more!

Here's the Pro-Mo video:

The site has lots of downloadables, including a "how to draw Piggie" sheet and video:

It's all a way for everyone at Hyperion to say Thank YOU! 

Last month, with the help of FIRST BOOK, I wrote 51 personal thank you notes to a teacher, librarian, or someone working to get books into kids hands in every state of the union (+DC). The experience was so wonderful for me, I didn't stop and have been writing notes to pals and early mentors.  So, for all the silliness of the THANK-O-RAMA, it comes from a place of real gratitude.

Thank you. 


I have a quite a few appearances for you in May, all of them very different in nature, including:


Exciting times at BEA as we'll be featuring a slew of fun fall titles! I'll be signing and doing a panel at the Chicago convention center for  BOOK EXPO AMERICA  as follows:

WED. MAY 11.

2 - 3 pm - Official signing at TABLE 3 of the AUTOGRAPHING AREA for THE THANK YOU BOOK.  This is a ticketed line & tickets to run out quickly, so get them asap.


9.30 - 10.30 am - IN BOOTH signing for NANETTE'S BAGUETTE, which will be published in October. There tends to be a line for these things, so come on by a little early! (Disney/Hyperion Booth # 2117)

1 - 2 pm - IN BOOTH signing for ELEPHANT & PIGGIE LIKE READING SERIES launch with Dan Santat (THE COOKIE FIASCO) and Laurie Keller (WE ARE GROWING!). Two great pals and wonderful talents!  There WILL be a line for this, so come on by a little early! (Disney/Hyperion Booth # 2117)



2.45 -3.15 pm - Your lucky day! A SPECIAL panel at the UPTOWN STAGE with Dan Santat (THE COOKIE FIASCO) Laurie Keller (WE ARE GROWING!) and editor Tracey Keevan discussing the ELEPHANT & PIGGIE LIKE READING SERIES. I am so blown away by the talent and fun that ooze out of these two volumes.  It's been such a blast for me.  Come by to hear what they thought of the experience!

Please drop by and say 'hello' if you are attending BEA this year!

These events are for attendees only. Contact BEA about entry passes (NOTE: some signings/events may require additional tickets).


I'll be attending a reception for ELEPHANT & PIGGIE ARE IN AN EXHIBITION! at the R. Michelson Galleries on Main Street in Northampton starting at 4pm.

You can learn more about the show of original work from all 25 Elephant & Piggie adventures in the 'Exhibits' section below.

This event is open to the public.


I'll be reading from THE THANK YOU BOOK at the Burlington Barnes & Noble as part of their grand THANK-O-RAMA, then signing starting at 11 am.  

If you can't make it, check the schedule of your local Barnes & Noble as they'll probably be doing special THANK-O-RAMA readings and events for the book that weekend. Most stores should have super-fun cut out frames for you to take a picture with Elephant & Piggie.  

AND each copy of their first printing will have a 2nd extra special surprise Elephant & Piggie poster in it in addition to the surprise prize!

This event is open to the public, but contact the store regarding signing line policies, etc.  These things can fill up fast!


I'll be hosting the Annual Reuben Awards in Memphis, TN for the National Cartoonists Society this May 26-29 . Despite that, it should be a great weekend!

(Non-members may attend as well, but it's a ticketed banquet & you'll have to check out the NCS for details)


Pals Elephant & Piggie will be traveling all over the country this month to say THANK YOU and take their picture with YOU.

Here are the dates for the bookshops that will be hosting Elephant & Piggie this month!
Please check with each venue for  times and full details.
5/4 - Austin, TX – BookPeople –

5/7 - Tempe, AZ – Changing Hands – 5/7

5/7-8 - St. Paul, MN – Red Balloon Bookshop –

5/14 - Santa Cruz, CA – Bookshop Santa Cruz –

        - Salt Lake City – King’s English Bookshop –

5/21 - Burlington, MA – Barnes & Noble –

        - New York, NY – Barnes & Noble, Tribeca – 5/21

         - Glendale, CA – Barnes & Noble – 5/21



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.

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.  


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. 

Did I mention the Pigeon-head cookies at the café?



The R. Michelson Galleries will have a retrospective of works from every one of the 25 Elephant & Piggie adventures in a show entitled WE ARE IN AN EXHIBITION that will run from May 15 - June 30, 2016! 

This will be a special chance to see how the characters developed and changed over the past decade.  

I'm looking forward to it and the reception we'll be having on May 15th starting at 4pm. 



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 thru May 7, 2016!

Full Details are here. 

Here is a nice review of the production, with pictures!


The BAY AREA CHILDREN'S THEATER production of PIGGIE'S WE ARE IN A PLAY! runs in SAN RAMON May 7 & 8, then moves to SAN FRANCISCO May 14 thru June 12, 2016!

Full Details are here.


Rochester, NY

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

Full details are here.


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

Full details are here.


Most of this month's links are about the N-Y Historical Society show

TIME FOR KIDS reporter Jordan Millar came to the show more prepared than most grown-up reporters.  She was great!  You can see her report here (the video is at the bottom of the page.

STORYMAKERS also interviewed me on the opening day:

School Library Journal took a look at the exhibit and liked what they saw. Their report is HERE.


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...