Tuesday, August 29, 2017

MO WILLEMS STUDIO SEPTEMBER 2017 UPDATE!

It's back to school time!  And that means Books, Appearances, Exhibits, Auctions, & Mo':

BOOKS!

I'm very excited to have two very different books releasing on September 5th, 2017:

 
SAM THE MOST SCAREDY CAT KID IN THE WHOLE WORLD is a sequel (14 years in the making) to LEONARDO THE TERRIBLE MONSTER that expands on Sam and Leonardo's world.  Hopefully, you'll enjoy it!

 
ELEPHANT & PIGGIE'S WE ARE IN AN ART-TIVITY BOOK! is also a sequel of sorts.  5 years ago my pal Mr. Warburton and I collaborated on DON'T LET THE PIGEON FINISH THIS ACTIVITY BOOK! and we had so much fun, we thought we'd try it again!  In this big, thick book you'll get to create all kinds of real art (portraits, sculptures, mobiles, collages, still lives) with Elephant & Piggie and a new friend, Art Vaark, then you'll get to have a big exhibition of your awesome work, and THEN a pigeon-y ART CRITIC arrives!  What will happen?  I hope you'll draw, doodle, cut and paste your way into finding out!

APPEARANCES! 

 
I will have 2 appearances this month, one virtual and one physical.  Both will explore ELEPHANT & PIGGIE'S WE ARE IN AN ART-TIVITY BOOK!



Tuesday, September 12, 2017

4pm EST

The New York Times Facebook Live Feed.

For this exclusive live feed event, I'll be chatting with the NYT's Maria Russo* and making her draw various characters and activities with me (shhh... don't tell her).  Hopefully, you'll tune in & join in as well!

(Link to come)

*Maria is the editor of the childrens review section and responsible for this lovely review of my recent exhibit at the New-York Historical Society.

Mr. Warburton & I promoting our previous collaboration, DON'T LET THE PIGEON FINISH THIS ACTIVITY BOOK!.  Expect more of the same from WE ARE IN AN ART-TIVITY BOOK!
Saturday, September 23, 2017

WE ARE IN AN ART-TIVITY BOOK! CELEBRATION

ALL DAY, starting at 10 am

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art
Amherst, MA

I'll be joining my collaborator, Mr. Warburton, creator of Cartoon Network's CODENAME: KIDS NEXT DOOR and current exec. producer for the upcoming re-boot of MUPPET BABIES with readings and presentations and signings and fun!

There will be crafts! Elephant & Piggie will be there for pictures!  You can check out the wonderful COLLECTING INSPIRATION exhibit (see below)!

The full schedule is here.

Make your reservations for the readings, as those tend to sell out quickly.

EXHIBITS!

There are 3 very different exhibits with my work in (or on) them this month.


COLLECTING INSPIRATION
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.  

Here's a short video of Tony & I backstage at the Carle:

  


PAINT THAT BOX! THE DUCK OF DESTINY, PUP OF PROGRESS!
Northampton Council For the Arts Project
Main Street & Pleasant Street
Northampton, MA 

This summer, Team Willems painted one of the large electrical boxes in the middle of downtown Northampton.  It was hot!  The paint was sticky! It was FUN!

You can drop by and check it out if you come to town.  

(Here's the background on the boxes that were painted this summer.)




THE CARLE HONORS GALA BENEFIT AUCTION!
Thru Sept. 27 at BOOKS OF WONDER
18 W 18th Street
NYC

Then on Sept. 28 at the Carle Honors Gala.

The CARLE HONORS is an opportunity to honor the best in our business and to help the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art continue it's mission of promoting, celebrating, and encouraging childrens book illustration as an art form.

In conjunction with the gala, the Carle has an auction featuring an amazing array of original picture book art.  You can see the art on-line or in person at Books of Wonder in Manhattan starting Sept. 6th.  

My submission this year is an early sketch of the Knuffle Bunny Statue, which as of this writing is scheduled to be located in the new garden of the Brooklyn Public Library on 9th Street and 6th Ave in Park Slope, Brooklyn (just a few blocks down from the real Knuffle Bunny Laundromat).

More details here. 

Happy viewing (or bidding).

THEATER!

There are a no productions of my plays this month, but I'm very excited about this upcoming ROCK event:


 
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 NOW!

PRESS!

 
The folks at Kirkus Reviews do not underestimate childrens' lit and look at Charise Harper's THE GOOD FOR NOTHING BUTTON! in Heidiggerian terms. 

Booklist also really liked the story, giving it a starred review.


Meanwhile, at The Horn Book, Laurie Keller and I talk about another ELEPHANT & PIGGIE LIKE READING adventure, her WE ARE GROWING! 


Here's a look at a recent appearance in St. Louis.  Always a fun visit to the library!



Here is an episode of the Geek Dads' podcast, where over an hour we meander across ideas, craft, my work history, and more.  A fun chat.


Chelsea Clinton tells the Guardian that her family enjoys listening to the ELEPHANT & PIGGIE'S WE ARE IN A PLAY! soundtrack.  I hope you will, too. 

The album is available here.  



The UK's Financial Times recommends reading DIVA & FLEA: A PARISIAN TALE.  Ireland's INDEPENDENT also enjoys the story, which has just been released by Walker Books in the UK, Ireland, New Zealand, & Australia.

I had great fun creating a recent cover for SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL. It's an interesting issue. 

In this local piece, you can learn about the little things that neighbors JJK, Jeff Mack, and myself are doing for our wonderful local library.


Thanks to YOU, Elephant & Piggie's WAITING IS NOT EASY! popped back onto the New York TimesBestseller list for a couple of weeks in July allowing it to reach a career landmark of 52 weeks or one (non-consecutive) YEAR!  Not the book I'd have thought would achieve this, but the title is a funny one for the feat!  Many, many thanks, you!


 
Additionally, an old favorite Elephant & Piggie's WE ARE IN A BOOK! also popped on and off the NYT list this summer!  Wow!


Booklist had some nice things to say this summer, listing KNUFFLE BUNNY: A CAUTIONARY TALE  among its ground breaking books of the last 20 years and including NANETTE'S BAGUETTE in its top 10 humorous picture book list.

Finally, the New York Times commissioned one of my favorite cartoonists, Linears, to write about going back to school.  It's a charming story about one of his kids and includes pals Elephant & Piggie.  You can read the strip here.

WELCOME!




Here is the promo clip for WELCOME, which released this summer.  

Booklist loves it, saying in a starred review

"This loving heads-up will continue to resonate with all offspring as they go on to toddle, big-kid, and beyond."
School Library Journal called it, "A humorous, loving take on the excitement and nervousness, tenderness and heartache, and worry and fear of new parenthood."

The New York Times chimed in saying, "There’s no children’s book creator quite like Willems, and no book quite like this one... The humor cloaks wise and reassuring words that give parents subtle cues, like a recurring reminder of all that happens “while we read this book together.”

The NYT also included WELCOME on its weekly list of 10 Recommended Books.
  

Publishers Weekly has the inside story about the creation of the book, which is a departure for me. 


This book is a departure for me and I'm very happy to see new people and their new parents sharing it.

STUFF!



Lots of fun new stuff has been released in the past few months.  You can check out all the stuff at MO WILLEMS STUFF.


From the fine folks at Demco, 2 soft, stain resistant carpets perfect for 'criss-cross-apple-sauce' in various sizes.

More info HERE. 


The folks at Demco also have some ideas on how to use my books (including a message from me about the power of a blank piece of paper).


 

For the kids & grown ups, Out Of Print's new READ T-shirts are really fun to wear (I wear mine proudly).  They also have a kid-sized tote!

 

Available wherever T-Shirts featuring Elephant & Piggie are sold, or DIRECTLY FROM OUT OF PRINT.



Thanks to all of the Teachers and their ilk who took advantage of the Kohl's Care program featuring stuffies of The Pigeon, Duckling, Elephant, Piggie, & Knuffle Bunny.  It's my understanding that many of the specially produced stuffies and books have SOLD OUT, but the program runs through September, AND NEW SHIPMENTS WILL BE MADE

Check on line or call your local Kohl's.  When they're gone, they're gone!

Thank you for your wild enthusiasm, I was touched to see how happy kids and teachers were with the program.

Regular editions of those stuffies (and more) are still available via their producer, YottoY.

Remember all the Mo Stuff that's real Mo Stuff is at MO STUFF

THAT'S IT!



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...