This interview with Mo Willems ranks among my favorites. Some authors just "get" kids. They think like kids, make drawings that appeal to kids and their sense of humor absolutely slays a preschool audience. Mo Willems falls into this category. You probably already know about Mo's crazy pigeon (click here for a fun interactive site with the pigeon)--the one from Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (Caldecott Honor winner 2004); Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late!; Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog!; etc.
Sure, I love Mo because he is a Brooklyn dad who is clearly nuts about his kids, but I mostly adore him because he make reading F-U-N. As an adult I am all too happy to read and re-read his stories. Around these parts we are mad for the Knuffle Bunny series (stories about a little girl and her beloved stuffed companion who go on city adventures). If you don't already have a Mo book or two get to a library or book store and check it out.
Now more about the man behind the pigeon. Did you know that Mo began his career on Sesame Street (he nabbed six Emmy Awards for his writing on that show)? Well, there's more to learn. I am thrilled to help Momtrends readers get to know Mo:
Favorite childhood book?
Any Peanuts anthology. I read them until the paper disintegrated. Then I read them in my mind.
Favorite literary character?
Spiderman. He's like Charlie Brown with super-powers.
Do you think books will ever go the way of the dinosaur?
Do you mean that one day all kids will totally love them and people will build gigantic museums about them that are filled with rabid fans and that when they finally decay they'??ll power our cars?
Man, I hope so.
What are you reading now?
These questions (awesome work by the way).
Favorite book shop, and why?
When I was in my late teens and early twenties I met a guy who set up a stall on Astor Place in New York'??s East Village. He had all kinds of cool cartoon anthologies from the 1950'??s that he would save for me. It was on that sidewalk that I discovered and devoured the cartoon greats like Ronald Searle, Saul Steinberg, and Anatol Kavorsky. Being a young artist, I was of course mostly broke, but my bookseller pal would give me his latest find for whatever was in my pocket. I still have many of those volumes.