Featured Author: Mo Willems

Sometimes it’s nice to take a little peek into the work of some of the world’s most successful authors, and in the coming months I’ll be adding a post or two on authors and illustrators I personally admire, and who continue to delight children (and adults) with their impressive line-up of work. In this first post, I’ll be revealing a little more about Mo Willems – a US author whose Knuffle Bunny books had me in stitches when my kids were really little. I hope you enjoy this profile. Email me with your author profile suggestions . . . who would you like to know more about?

Mo Willems

Mo Willems was raised in New Orleans. He studied at Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, and when he was done, he travelled the world, drawing a carton every day. This work was later published in the book You Can Never Find a Rickshaw When it Monsoons.

Mo began his career as a writer and animator for Sesame Street. He also performed stand up comedy in NYC and recorded essays for BBC Radio. Mo has worked for The Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon, and has created two animated TV series – The Off-Beats and Sheep in the Big City.

Since 2003, Mo has authored many books for children. Three of his books have been awarded a Caldecott Honor: Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (2004), Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale (2005), and Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity (2008).

His Elephant and Piggie books, an early reader series about a friendly elephant and pig, are a huge hit with the littlies, and Elephant and Piggie won the Theodor Seuss Geisel Medal in 2008 and 2009, and a Geisel Honor in 2011.

In 2010, Mo began writing a new series of books featuring Cat the Cat, also aimed at early readers.

Mo’s books have been translated into many languages. They have even spawned animated shorts and have been developed into musical productions. His work, including illustrations, wire sculpture and ceramics have been shown in exhibitions all over the US.

Mo married his wife Cheryl Camp in 1997 and now lives in Masschusetts.

Learn more at www.mowillems.com.


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Tania McCartney

Tania McCartney is an author of children's books and adult non-fiction. Recent books include Riley and the Grumpy Wombat: A journey around Melbourne, and Australian Story: An Illustrated Timeline. She's also an editor, publisher and founder of Kids Book Review.