Great Reads of Kids #5 – Mo Willems

Several years ago now a reader of my blog mentioned a children’s author that I absolutely had to check out.  That author was the clever, funny and just so totally brilliant Mo Willems.  We love, love, love Mo and if you’re yet to experience his world of utter hilarity you MUST!!!!  NOW!!  – I mean it, go straight to your local library, hit Amazon or Bookworld or whatever online bookstore you favour or better yet check him out at your local real-life bookshop.  DO IT!

But just before you heed my warning and head out the door or onto another website, here is a little info.  He is an American kids author and creator of general awesomeness – check out his amazing web page – who started writing books after working on Sesame Street.  You can kinda see the TV influence in how some of the books are structured or illustrated.

He writes a number of series, all funny, quirky and completely cool.  We haven’t read them all but here’s a sample of the ones we’ve either bought or have been lucky enough to find at the library.

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The Knuffle Bunny series (Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale, The Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity and The Knuffle Bunny Free: An unexpected Diversion).  This is compulsory reading for any parent…… ahem, child…… who has any kind of security object.  The despair felt at the loss of said item is enough to send any parent and child into acts of wild desperation as happens in these books.  These are magnificently illustrated with a combination of photography and cartoon style drawings.

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The Pigeon Series (there are lots and lots, but a few include the award winning Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, The Pigeon Finds a Hotdog, The Pigeon Loves Things that Go and The Pigeon Wants a Puppy).  The Pigeon even tweets would you believe!  This is a seriously funny character, a pigeon who knows what he wants and won’t let a little thing like being a pigeon stand in his way.

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The Elephant and Piggie series (again lots, but a selection of the ones we’ve enjoyed include Today I Will Fly, Let’s Go For a Drive and I Will Surprise my Friends).  These are two slightly unlikely friends with fairly different personalities.  They go on adventures but things never quite go as planned.

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There is another series that we haven’t yet experienced, called Cat the Cat.  Although I can’t personal guarantee their greatness I feel pretty sure they would come up to scratch.  As well there are numerous stand alone books, but I’ve never managed to come across these at the local library.  If anyone else had read them please comment at the end of this so we all know what they’re like.

What I think is most wonderful about Mo Willem’s books is that they’re funny from a child’s perspective but also from a parents.  You know, like great kids movies, there are jokes that are included just for the adults watching that will more than likely go over the kids head.  The books are also brilliant to read aloud, few words but oh so much expression!

So there you have it, another brilliant children’s author for you.  I have a sneaking suspicious this series could go on forever.

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