meeting mo willems
Since nothing really exciting happened today, it seemed like a good day to post about the Mo Willems' book signing I attended back in September. We had missed an opportunity to meet him when he was in Wisconsin (when we were in Chicago), so I really really didn't want to miss him this time around. In fact, in my moleskin planner, I wrote down every book signing he was doing on the western coast. Because this was around the same time B was interviewing in Seattle, I almost scheduled it so we would have caught him several times. Alas, that didn't work out. And in some ways it is probably just as well. B looked at my calendar and said anyone who didn't know might think that I was stalking the poor man. If anything had happened to him, I would have been a suspect.
We ended up seeing him in Irvine at A Whale of a Tale. There was a pretty good turnout, but not too large that things had to be moved outside. All the kids who came, sat down in front. Mo Willems really played to the kids. He read the new Knuffle Bunny book(it's K-nuffle, just FYI) and then took some questions. He reminded the kids that a question was not raising your hand and saying 'I have a pony.'
One kid asked if Mo had written Sponge Bob Square Pants. Mo laughed and said that he hadn't, adding that if had, he wouldn't be here. [The thing that brought him here and keeps him writing is his mortgage.] Another asked about his daughter. Apparently his daughter likes when kids ask about her.
Someone asked about the art in the Knuffle Bunny books. For those of you that haven't seen them, they are photographs with drawings. In the second Knuffle Bunny book there is an amazing spread of one of the circles in New York City at night. Mo explained that he took the photo in the middle of the night from the top of the Public Library. He didn't say how he repaid them for letting them be his tripod.
He also said that there is a lot removed from the photographs of Brooklyn. Things like trash cans and window box air conditioning units. It takes a lot of work.
He also read from one of the new Elephant and Piggy books. These are geared towards kids learning to read. He noted that they are especially hard, because the words he can use are limited.
We talked to him briefly during the signing. We mentioned that we were big fans of his show on The Cartoon Network,
Sheep in the Big City. He said that we were about 80% of the fan base. How sad. No one appreciates a good oxymoron any more.
In case you aren't aware of who Mo Willems is, in addition to writing children's books, he won several Emmy's for his work on Sesame Street. Two of his book are Caldecott Honor books. Here are some to check out:
Don't Let The Pigeon Stay Up Late
You Can Never Find a Rickshaw When it Monsoons
Edwina the Dinosaur Who Didn't Know She Was Extinct
He also has a website:
on the night stand :: Knuffle Bunny Too