Monday, December 29, 2014

JANUARY UPDATE!


HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Thanks for making 2014 such a great year at Knuffle Manor.  2015 promises to have lots of exciting events, theater performances, books, and more.  Here's a taste of what's scheduled this year as of now.

Productions of ELEPHANT & PIGGIE'S WE ARE IN A PLAY! in Nashville, TN; Syracuse, NY; Orlando, FL; and Washington, DC plus a production of Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical in Atlanta, GA.

A return of DON'T LET THE COMEDIANS DO STORYTIME! with an all-star cast at the San Francisco Sketchfest (more on that below).

A solo exhibit at The High Museum in Atlanta, GA.

The publication of brand new Elephant & Piggie adventures, older adventures in Spanish, and an exciting top-secret chapter book project.

The release of the animated version of THAT IS NOT A GOOD IDEA!

Appearances in New York, San Francisco, Amherst (MA), Dartmouth (MA), Boston, Washington (DC), New Zealand (!), and more.

GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!

While there are no events scheduled for January, but there are several exciting things  scheduled for early February which you might want to plan for.  So, here's a sneak peek:

Saturday, Feb. 7, AMHERST, MA

 -- FRIENDIVERSARY EVENT AT THE ERIC CARLE MUSEUM.




On FEBRUARY 7th, the Eric Carle Museum will be celebrating Friendiversary with free admission, free books (while they last), and special buses bringing in kids from Springfield and Holyoke for the day.  

It will be a day of fun, films, activities and friendship all celebrating the Friendiversary initiative with First Book. (more on that below, including how YOU can help).

Elephant and Piggie will be there as will guest authors.  

Last year's event was a blast. Don't miss it.

Sunday, Feb. 8 -

SAN FRANCISCO, CA

 DON'T LET THE COMEDIANS DO STORYTIME! AT SAN FRANCISCO SKETCHFEST

 
The cast from 2013's Don't Let the Comedians Do Storytime.
I'm thrilled to be back in San Francisco for a Sketchfest performance of my books as read by myself with the help of an all-star cast of comedians.  We did this 2 years ago and it was a blast.  This year's show is going to be a KNOCKOUT! 

We'll have readings!  Music! Drawing! A SNEAK PEEK of a brand-new, unpublished book!  WIth performances by an all-star roster of pals and total strangers like:


John Hodgman - Janeane Garofalo - Kristen Schaal - John Cho - Kevin Pollak - Scott Adsit - Kate Micucci - Busy Phillips - and a super-special SURPRISE GUEST!

11 am. Sunday, February 8, 2015 at the stately 
 Marines’ Memorial Theatre 
(609 Sutter St., San Francisco, CA)

The show is ALMOST SOLD OUT, but there may be stand-by tickets available.

All the details and tickets available here!


THEATER!

Starting Saturday, Feb. 14 -- 

CHICAGO, IL

 The EMERALD CITY THEATER production of ELEPHANT & PIGGIE'S WE ARE IN A PLAY!





The Chicago premier of Elephant & Piggie's vaudevillian musical adventure opens on February 14th and runs through May of 2015. Emerald City have mounted productions based on many of my books, including Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical. More info about the show and tickets is available here.

I hope you enjoy the show. And if you really like the songs, the original cast album is available as well.





If you'd like to see a production of the musical this month, then head on over to:

Nashville, TN 



The Nashville Children's Theatre production of ELEPHANT & PIGGIE'S WE ARE IN A PLAY! opens on January 15th (closing on Feb. 8th)

Full details and Tickets HERE!

HELP!




Next month during the week of Feb. 2-8th, 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 8 years or so and teamed up with the really great folks at First Book 5 years ago.


I will be visiting a school in Springfield, there will be events in New Orleans, 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 above 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 illusive "Friendiversary Dance" in it's natural environment). Past posts from past years about Friendiversary here.
 
COMIX!

Check out my comic strip of explorations and gags called FROM THE MO WILLEMS SKETCHBOOK






I'm sharing drawings from my sketchbook, dining room dinner doodles, abstractions, photo-gags, and mo' most every weekday.  I hope you'll visit the strip often and that it will provide the occasional smile or giggle.

The fine follks at GoComics recently asked me to blog a bit about my work and the strips; you can see the results here.


DEMOCRACY IN ACTION




I was surprised (and very happy) to discover that, thanks to YOU, the latest Pigeon adventure, THE PIGEON NEEDS A BATH! had won the Goodreads Readers Choice award for Picture books.  Thanks to all who voted, it's a big thrill!



If you're a kid in the UK, you can vote for your favorite Picture Book of the year and help chose who will win the Red House Children's Book Award this year.  I love when kids get to vote for their faves.

I'm excited that THAT IS NOT A GOOD IDEA! is among the excellent list of nominees.  So, go on and get your vote on!

VOTING IS HERE.

A news story about the awards is here (it ends Jan. 24).

BREAD!



The celebrated Poilâne bakery in Paris has an old tradition of trading artists' work for bread.  After a year of kindness from proprietress and pal Appolonia Poilâne, I made a little abstract that I'm happy to say currently hangs in the bakery's flag-ship store.  If you're on the rue du Cherche-Midi, take a peek & pick up some "little punishments" (yum).  There is some lovely art, including a bread chandelier created for Salvador Dali.

NICE THINGS!



Thanks to YOU Elephant and Piggie's WAITING IS NOT EASY!  and THE PIGEON NEEDS A BATH! spent last month on the New York Times Bestseller list.  Thanks, you!




 The Nerdy Book Club, a group of online fans of all things kids book, picks their favorite books every year and I'm thrilled to have my entire roster for the year recognized.
THE PIGEON NEEDS A BATH! won a Nerdy for picture books.  And both of this year's Elephant & Piggie adventures, MY NEW FRIEND IS SO FUN!  and WAITING IS NOT EASY! made it on the Early Readers list.  Thanks Nerdies and thanks for reading!



The Greenbay Post Gazette likes THE PIGEON NEEDS A BATH!

A piece about book reviewing in the Houston Chronicle has nice things to say about me.

RADIO!

My appearance on NPR's ASK ME ANOTHER will broadcast in January.  But until then, here's a sneak peek where you can learn both how I pronounce "KNUFFLE" and some Dutch Bowling trivia.




THAT'S IT!



That's this month's post. If you want to poke around the blog, some topics that might interest you are on the sidebar.

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

Sunday, November 30, 2014

DECEMBER UPDATE!

December is here and there's lots to talk about, including an appearance and exciting new stuff!

BOOKS!



Elephant and Piggie's WAITING IS NOT EASY! came out last month and the response has been nice.  Thanks to you, the story debuted at #2 on The New York Times Bestseller List. (Not to be left out, THE PIGEON NEEDS A BATH! joined Waiting is Not Easy! on the next 2 weeks).

The New York Times liked the book, saying the story has "a breathtaking gift that couldn’t possibly have come any sooner."

Kirkus reviews also enjoyed the story, calling it, "A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends."

The Springfield Republican had a local-boy-does good story about myself, Elephant and Piggie, and the new book. 




On the foreign end, I recently visited Paris an picked up a copy of Kaléidoscope d'histoires, a huge anthology of 25 books celebrating the 25th year of my French publisher, Kaléidoscope.  I'm happy to say that the French version of Knuffle Bunny made it into the volume, along with the books of a few of my pals.  Its a handsome anthology.



I was in Paris on my way back from Azerbaijan, where a bunch of my work has just been published.  It was a wonderful trip where I met with art students and kids, had a press conference with ministers of state, checked out a Muğam Concert, and visited the mountainside Silk Route palaces.  A remarkable place, filled with remarkable people.  Thanks to all at TEAS Press.


Upon my return, I found a package of some brand new Japanese Elephant & Piggie adventures! Kawaii!




ALBUM!



I'm happy to announce the release of the Original Cast Soundtrack for ELEPHANT & PIGGIE'S WE ARE IN A PLAY! which debuted at the Kennedy Center last year.
Elephant Gerald is an elephant: lumbering, formally attired, prone to melancholy. Piggie is a piggie: perky, smiley, full of fun. Total opposites? No way! In Mo Willems's beloved, award-winning, best-selling children's books, Elephant Gerald and Piggie are best friends! And in We Are in a Play!, a brand-new vaudevillian romp of a musical, Elephant Gerald and Piggie sing and dance their way through plenty of pachydermal peril and swiney suspense--facing fundamental questions like, what do you wear to a fancy pool costume party? Should you share your ice cream? And how can two friends play with one toy? Backed by a live band (Dr. Cat and the Bear-a-Tones) and nutty back-up singers The Squirrelles, our duo even gets the audience involved in the action. So get ready for a musical experience ripped from the pages of your favorite books. You'll be doing the "Flippy Floppy Floory" dance all night long! 

If you didn't get to see the musical in DC, here's your chance to hear it in CD!

I'm super proud of all the work that went into this musical and the record. 

You can get your copy of it both digitally and physically at CD Baby.

I'm also happy to report that ELEPHANT & PIGGIE'S WE ARE IN A PLAY! will be remounted at various theaters across the country in the coming months (stay tuned here for mo' details).

I hope you enjoy.

(For those of you who are interested, the soundtrack for KNUFFLE BUNNY: A CAUTIONARY MUSICAL is also available)

COMIX!

Check out my comic strip of explorations and gags called FROM THE MO WILLEMS SKETCHBOOK







I'm sharing drawings from my sketchbook, dining room dinner doodles, abstractions, photo-gags, and mo' most every weekday.  I hope you'll visit the strip often and that it will provide the occasional smile or giggle.



APPEARANCE!




I'll be reading from WAITING IS NOT EASY! and signing books at the great Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley, MA.

Sunday December 14th at 3pm!

Full details are here!

It should be great fun. If you can't make it, but still want a signed book, give them a call!


NEWS!


Here is a nice behind-the-scenes look at the rare manuscript department at Yale's Beinecke Libary for Eyewitness News 3 which includes Bread & Jam for Francis, Pee-Wee's Playhouse, John Hancock practicing his signature, and my sketchbooks (nice company!)



Here is a blog interview with me focusing on the RED HOUSE Book awards, which are the UK's only national award voted on by real kids!  THAT IS NOT A GOOD IDEA! is a nominee, so go have a vote if you're a UK Kid!

Over at Scholastic, you can read advice about reading with your kids from people who know about that stuff, and also me.

STUFF!



The Holidays are upon us and this year there are a few new fun things based on my work available, like T-shirts, onesies, and Wall Decals.

Everything that is available can be found at my MO' STUFF site.  Note, it's not a merchant site, but it usually clicks thru to the independent folks that produce my puzzles, clothes, stuffie pals, et. al.

If you want signed books, you can chat to the fine folks at the ERIC CARLE MUSEUM GIFT SHOP where I frequently sign stock. Another local indie that I may have signed books is the Odyssey Books where I'll be this month!.



THAT'S IT!


That's this month's post. If you want to poke around the blog, some topics that might interest you are on the sidebar.

There are lots of fun things planned for 2015 including new books, collaborations, comedy concerts, a major exhibit, theater, and appearances all over the place.  


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

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

NOVEMBER UPDATE!


November is going to be a busy month, with a new book plus appearances in Amherst, MA, Northampton, MA, & Brooklyn, NY. So let's get to it.


NEW BOOK!

November 4th, 2014 will see the release of Elephant and Piggie's newest adventure, WAITING IS NOT EASY!





 
Gerald is careful. Piggie is not.
Piggie cannot help smiling. Gerald can.
Gerald worries so that Piggie does not have to.

Gerald and Piggie are best friends.

In Waiting Is Not Easy!, Piggie has a surprise for Gerald, but he is going to have to wait for it. And Wait. And wait some more...



I hope you enjoy this one, I had a blast making it!
 
APPEARANCES!

AMHERST, MA, NOV. 2, 10am- ALL DAY!



Because waiting really, really is not easy, I'll be giving a sneak peek reading and signing of the new Elephant and Piggie adventure 2 days early
at the ERIC CARLE MUSEUM OF PICTURE BOOK ART in Amherst, MA.

For a full day with big readings, games, cartoons, surprises, and visits from Elephant and Piggie themselves starting at 10am.



There will be 2 readings with Q+A period.

At  11:00 am

and

11:40 am

These will be free with museum admission, but you'll need to reserve your seats as the events do fill up quickly.  NOTE: IT SEEMS THAT THE READINGS ARE SOLD OUT, BUT THERE'S LOTS OF OTHER STUFF TO TO DO, AND SIGNINGS ARE OPEN TO ALL WHO ARRIVE.

After that (around NOON) I'll be signing books for you.

(Please only 1 book from home. ALL OF THE EVENT DETAILS ARE HERE!)






If you're in the area, please come on by!

(to get a sense of the day, check out this article from my last appearance at the Carle)



I will also be signing book stock, so if you want a signed book, just talk to the folks at the CARLE.



BROOKLYN, NY, NOV. 5, 7:30 PM



I'll be the VIP (Very Important Puzzler) on  NPR’s Ask Me Another hosted by comedian Ophira Eisenberg with house musician Jonathan Coulton at The Bell House in Brooklyn, NY.  It's a fun show and LIVE on STAGE.  If my past trivia career is anything to go by, I'll have a perfect record of no correct answers. This is an adult 21+ event, so I get to say 'poop'. 

You can get your tickets here.

NORTHAMPTON, MA, NOV. 9, 4PM



The R. Michelson Galleries in Northampton, MA, will have hold their opening for their annual Children's Illustration Show. It's always a great event filled with all kinds of local authors, illustrators, and pals (here are some snaps from past years).  

Along with some great Jerry Pinkney and Kadir Nelson stuff, they'll be showing some original work from a few of my recent books.

DEMOCRACY IN ACTION




If you're a kid in the UK, you can vote for your favorite Picture Book of the year and help chose who will win the Red House Children's Book Award this year.  I love when kids get to vote for their faves.

I'm excited that THAT IS NOT A GOOD IDEA! is among the excellent list of nominees.  So, go on and get your vote on!

VOTING IS HERE.

A news story about the awards is here

NEW STUFF!

T-SHIRT!


The folks at OUT OF PRINT have released their new DON'T LET THE PIGEON DRIVE THE BUS! kids T-shirt.

You can get it at your local bookshop or HERE

(for mo' wearable stuff, check out the Mo' Stuff page)

Pigeon WALL STICKERS!



From the fine folks at Blik come 4 packs of big Pigeon wall stickers!

They're fun and you can write on some of the word bubbles!

Great for the bedroom or the classroom.

Check them out HERE.

COMIX!


Check out my comic strip of explorations and gags called FROM THE MO WILLEMS SKETCHBOOK





I'm sharing drawings from my sketchbook, dining room dinner doodles, abstractions, photo-gags, and mo' most every weekday.  I hope you'll visit the strip often and that it will provide the occasional smile or giggle.

NICE THINGS!

UK's Sunday Times named Elephant & Piggie's There is  Bird on Your Head! as one of their 100 classics from the last 10 years

It is also one of the books named as one of the Petersburg, VA city reads books.




AND, thanks to you, THE PIGEON NEEDS A BATH! popped back onto the NYTimes Bestseller list for a quick spell.  Thanks, you! 


Parents Magazine think that Elephant & Piggie's MY NEW FRIEND IS SO FUN! is one of the 10 best books of the year.


The Yale Daily News has a piece about the Beinecke Library's acquisition (and future acquisitions) of my papers and notes (some of which are currently on display).


THAT'S IT!














That's this month's post. If you want to poke around the blog, some topics that might interest you are on the sidebar.

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

Monday, September 29, 2014

OCTOBER UPDATE!


UPCOMING!

November 4th, 2014 will see the release of Elephant and Piggie's newest adventure, WAITING IS NOT EASY!

It sure isn't. 

So....

APPEARANCES!



Because waiting really, really is not easy, I'll be giving a sneak peek reading and signing of the new Elephant and Piggie adventure 2 days early!

DON'T WAIT! Come on by:

Sunday, November 2nd

at the ERIC CARLE MUSEUM OF PICTURE BOOK ART in Amherst, MA.

For a full day with big readings, games, cartoons, surprises, and visits from Elephant and Piggie themselves starting at 10am. 


There will be 2 readings with Q+A period.  

At  11:00 am

and 

11:40 am

These will be free with museum admission, but you'll need to reserve your seats as the events do fill up quickly.

After that (around NOON) I'll be signing books for you.

(Please only 1 book from home. ALL OF THE EVENT DETAILS ARE HERE!)


If you're in the area, please come on by!

(to get a sense of the day, check out this article from my last appearance at the Carle)



NEWS!

Last month, Yale University's Beineke Library announced the acquisition of a large volume of my papers, notes, and original drawings.  I'm thrilled to have my work in such a fantastic collection (a Gutenberg Bible is there!) housed in such a fantastic building. It's also very cool that eventually all of my papers will be in one place alongside a collection of juvenile work that stretches back centuries and is readily available for scholars to poke around in.

THEATER!


In the coming months I'll have some fun news about upcoming productions of ELEPHANT AND PIGGIE'S WE ARE IN A PLAY! including a forthcoming release of an album of all the songs.

If you are running a theater (or theater department), I will point you in the direction of Music Theater International (MTI) which is handling the licensing of ELEPHANT AND PIGGIE'S WE ARE IN A PLAY! as well as my previous Kennedy Center production, KNUFFLE BUNNY: A CAUTIONARY MUSICAL.


NICE WORDS, NICE THINGS!



Over in Australia, the ABC Melbourne have very nice things to say about THE PIGEON NEEDS A BATH!

Thanks to you, the book has continued to perch on the NYTimes Bestseller list for much of the month.  Thanks, you!
 

COMIX!

Check out my new comic strip of explorations and gags called FROM THE MO WILLEMS SKETCHBOOK, now in it's second month. 




I'm sharing drawings from my sketchbook, dining room dinner doodles, abstractions, photo-gags, and mo' most every weekday.  I hope you'll visit the strip often and that it will provide the occasional smile or giggle.

T-SHIRTS!


The fine folks at OUT OF PRINT have just released their DON'T LET THE PIGEON DRIVE THE BUS! T-shirts for kids and they're great!  PLUS every purchase sends a book to a child in need.

You can check them out here.

They also have onesies for infants.

If you want to know all of the clothing stuff out there with my characters, this is the place to go.


POSTERS!


The R Michelson Galleries have produced a 18" x 24" poster image from last month's PARIS exhibit that is available for purchase at the gallery or via their website.  Proceeds will benefit The Survival Center, Northampton's local pantry serving the needs of many folks in town.  I hope you enjoy this departure from some of my other work.




If you're looking for a poster starring some of my characters (and books authored by my neighbors in the Pioneer Valley), I've just recently signed a slew of posters benefiting the Forbes Library, my local amazing library that was recently attacked by an arsonist.  They are available on line at this site.

 CONTEST!



I'm excited about this classroom/lego contest where kids are encouraged to create their own Pigeon stories in LEGO. The winners will receive a 2 foot tall Pigeon made of LEGO (& a video from me) or exclusive limited edition LEGO MINI-PIGEONS! (yikes!)

Guidelines here.

FULL DETAILS HERE.





Entries are due by October 31, 2014.





THAT'S IT!











That's this month's post. If you want to poke around the blog, some topics that might interest you are on the sidebar.

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