Thursday, June 1, 2017


A quieter summer for me this year, but there are still plays, exhibits, and mo' to see and do in Willems-world.  Here is the Summer Update!


Not too many appearances this summer (I'll be busy trying to create fun books for you), but I will be in at BEA in June.

Thurs. June 1st, Fri, June 2nd

I'll be doing a few events during the BOOK EXPO AMERICA, including signing events open to all BEA attendees.  

PLEASE check with the venue as to whether they require tickets and be aware that these signings do SELL OUT or supplies RUN OUT on occasion.  

Thursday June 1, 11 am 
Table 1, Signing area:             

Official autographing for WELCOME 

Friday June 2 10:30
Disney/Hyperion Booth:        
In-booth event for IT'S SHOE TIME! by Bryan Collier.

Pal Bryan Collier has created the 4th installment of the ELEPHANT & PIGGIE LIKE READING series.  Bryan and I will be signing together.   

A more regular appearance schedule will begin in the fall with a reading and signing for the new Elephant & Piggie activity book (WE ARE IN AN ART-TIVITY BOOK!) with my collaborator and pal, Mr. Warburton at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA.


There are two exhibits of my work to attend this summer (assuming you're in the area).

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art
Amherst, MA

Pal Tony DiTerlizzi and I have been working on a very special exhibition with the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art entitled COLLECTING INSPIRATION: CONTEMPORARY ILLUSTRATORS AND THEIR HEROES.
Picture books instill in children a sense of awe, magic, and wonderment, but who inspires the illustrators themselves—the people who bring incredibly imaginative worlds to life? Organized by two prominent figures in the field, Tony DiTerlizzi and Mo Willems, this exhibition gives visitors a peek into the minds and motivations of an array of talented artists working today. Visit The Carle to find out who inspires Tony and Mo, as well as Sophie Blackall, Sandra Boynton, Ashley Bryan, Eric Carle, Bryan Collier, Marla Frazee, Laurie Keller, Lauren Long, Patrick McDonnell, Yuyi Morales, Kadir Nelson, LeUyuen Pham, Jerry Pinkney, Robin Preiss Glasser, Judy Schachner, Lane Smith, and—with a special contribution from his foundation—the late Maurice Sendak. 

Just look at the list of these artists.  This is once in a lifetime show and Tony and I couldn't be happier to have so many of our heroes and heroes' heroes exhibited together.

The exhibit runs thru  NOVEMBER 17, 2017.  There will be many special events happening throughout the run of the show featuring many of the illustrious illustrators. While there is no opening, we will be throwing a big celebration in October featuring many of the artists in the show.  Stay tuned!


Hyundai Museum of Kids Books & Art
Seoul, South Korea

It's a thrill to be included in this exhibit feature book and personal work from a slew of Caldecott winners and honorees.  If you find yourself in Seoul, give the museum of a visit.

More details here.

The exhibit runs through June 25, 2017 


The Beinecke Library
Yale University
New Haven, CT 

Yale's wonderful Beinecke Library has two companion exhibits on view, one of which, Bird Watching, has a special easter-egg image in the style of John J Audubon, THE COMMON NORTH AMERICAN DREAMING DEPOT PIGEON, a colaboration between myself and my graphic designer and pal, Scott Sosebee.

The Beinecke has also produced a wonderful limited edition poster of this image by "John J Autobus" to benefit New Haven Reads.

You can order yours while supplies last, HERE!

A overview of the exhibit is here.

The exhibit runs through August 12, 2017

For those scholars who are interested, my papers reside at the Beinecke, with a new batch of early (and I mean early) work being processed.


There are a few productions of my plays happening this summer.  Check them out if you can.


The Theater of Youth production of ELPHANT & PIGGIE'S WE ARE IN A PLAY! runs May 6 thru June 3rd !


The Grand Rapids Civic Theater production of ELPHANT & PIGGIE'S WE ARE IN A PLAY! runs thru June 3rd !

More information and tickets available HERE.


The Smithtown Center for the Performing Arts production of ELPHANT & PIGGIE'S WE ARE IN A PLAY! runs from July 15 - August 20th !

More information and tickets available HERE.

The Boji Bantam Children's Theater production of ELPHANT & PIGGIE'S WE ARE IN A PLAY! runs July 19 - 22 !

More information and tickets available HERE.

The Infinity Theater production of KNUFFLE BUNNY: A CAUTIONARY MUSICAL runs July 15 - August 5th !

More information and tickets available HERE.

And just announced, the creative team behind the Elephant & Piggie musical are working on a new piece, NAKED MOLE RAT GETS DRESSED (THE ROCK EXPERIENCE) for the Seattle Childrens Theater.

This show, which premiers at the SCT next year, has been in process for a few, fun years and is guaranteed to knock your socks on!

Show in March '18, Tkts on sale in August 1st, '17.


Kirkus Reviews liked the just published WELCOME, saying, "Willems’ characteristic humor comes through." You can read the review HERE.

The Australian likes the Walker Books edition of NANETTE'S BAGUETTE.
The Horn Book thinks THE THANK YOU BOOK should be on your summer reading list.

This was recently in the Sunday New York Times:


Thanks to YOU, the ELEPHANT & PIGGIE BIGGIE debuted on the New York Times Bestseller list (it's very rare for a 'bind-up' to do so).  

 A BIGGIE THANKS for that & happy reading!


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

And, I'm sure @The_Pigeon will keep tweeting...