Books by Mo Willems

Winner of three Caldecott Honors two Geisel Medals and a Geisel Honor, Mo Willems has mastered the trick of making books that thrill both children and critics. Mo grew up in New Orleans and now lives in Northampton, Mass., but his Dutch heritage gives us the authoritative pronunciation of Knuffle Bunny: with a hard "K" ("knuffle" means "snuggle" in Dutch). His newest book is Hooray for Amanda and Her Alligator, which received a starred review in Kirkus.


I'M A FROG by Mo Willems
Released: Oct. 15, 2013

"Children aren't likely to need the instruction, but the validation may be helpful to counter imagination-repressing parents or older sibs. (Early reader. 4-8)"
Piggie teaches her pachyderm pal to pretend. Considering that this is their 20th outing, Elephant seems a little slow on the uptake, but he sees the light eventually. Read full book review >
DON'T PIGEONHOLE ME! by Mo Willems
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: June 18, 2013

"Hilarious to, at worst, mildly amusing glimpses of a comic genius at play. Even the pigeon would agree."
Twenty years of doodles collected in a coffee-table volume, offering a well from which Willems has indeed drawn more than the importunate pigeon starring in many of his seemingly artless, improbably successful children's books. Read full book review >
A BIG GUY TOOK MY BALL! by Mo Willems
Released: May 21, 2013

"Nineteen books and five Geisel medals or honors along, Elephant and Piggie are still delivering funny, emotionally perceptive stories for just-emerging readers. As the big guy says: "BIG FUN!" (Early reader. 5-8)"
Gerald the elephant and Piggie return with another playground psychodrama, this one with a twist. Read full book review >
THAT IS NOT A GOOD IDEA! by Mo Willems
Released: May 1, 2013

"Pure glee. (Picture book. 3-8)"
A new offering of guaranteed laughs from three-time Caldecott-honoree Willems. Read full book review >
LET'S GO FOR A DRIVE! by Mo Willems
Released: Oct. 2, 2012

"Typically elegant and entirely satisfying. Which describes the book as well. (Early reader. 4-8)"
When Gerald the elephant and Piggie decide to go for a drive, they find that all the planning in the world can't replace one crucial ingredient. Read full book review >
GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE DINOSAURS by Mo Willems
Released: Sept. 1, 2012

"Top-notch for group storytime, for a project on revising classics or just for enjoyment; funniest for kids who know the original. (Fractured fairy tale. 5-9)"
A hilariously fractured fairy tale. Read full book review >
THE DUCKLING GETS A COOKIE!? by Mo Willems
Released: April 3, 2012

"Just as enjoyable as a read-aloud to a group or as a one-on-one lapsit, it's a pleasure to see Willems at the top of his game, and The Pigeon suitably humbled. (Picture book. 3-8)"
Everyone's favorite grouch of a fowl returns, though the spotlight is firmly fixed elsewhere. Read full book review >
DON'T LET THE PIGEON RUN THIS APP! by Mo Willems
IPAD BOOK APPS
Released: Oct. 27, 2011

"The $6.99 price tag may cause a little sticker shock, but endearing characters, creative interaction and Willems' idiosyncratic storytelling make this app worth the splurge. (iPad storybook app. 2-5)"
A puerile pigeon pesters and pleads to get what he wants. Read full book review >
HAPPY PIG DAY! by Mo Willems
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 4, 2011

The latest entry in this popular series for beginning readers features a new holiday: It's Happy Pig Day, and Gerald the elephant is feeling left out. Read full book review >
HOORAY FOR AMANDA & HER ALLIGATOR! by Mo Willems
ANIMALS
Released: May 1, 2011

"Silly, warm and inviting, the six-and-1/2 short episodic chapters are just right for reading aloud as well as for beginning readers who are steady on their reading feet. (Picture book. 3-7)"
An exploration of the nature of surprises between good friends. Read full book review >
KNUFFLE BUNNY FREE by Mo Willems
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Nov. 1, 2010

"It's a whole lot more palatable than Love You Forever, but still—maybe it would have been better for the fictional Trixie not to grow up. (Picture book. Adult)"
Having survived a trip through the dryer and a horrific case of mistaken identity, Knuffle Bunny and Trixie are headed for Holland to visit Trixie's Oma and Opa. Read full book review >
WE ARE IN A BOOK! by Mo Willems
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 14, 2010

"You bet. (Early reader. 4-8)"
Stalwart friends Piggie and Gerald the elephant push the metafictive envelope in a big way when they realize that "someone is looking at us." Read full book review >
CITY DOG, COUNTRY FROG by Mo Willems
ANIMALS
Released: June 8, 2010

"The image of a happy dog treading water with a frog on his head says it all. (Picture book. 3 & up)"
In Willems's latest, a departure from his urban sensibility as well as his first book as solely the author, a dog from the city explores new territory when he moves to the country and befriends a frog. Read full book review >
CAN I PLAY TOO? by Mo Willems
ANIMALS
Released: June 8, 2010

"Brilliantly subtle and spot-on. (Early reader. 4-8)"
The latest Elephant and Piggie book displays all the snappy pacing and wry humor readers have come to expect of the Geisel Medal–winning series, with a valuable lesson in friendship and flexibility tucked inside. Read full book review >
WHAT’S YOUR SOUND, HOUND THE HOUND? by Mo Willems
ANIMALS
Released: May 1, 2010

"This book is the cat's meow. (Picture book/early reader. 0-7)"
Willems's third Cat the Cat book might be the best one yet. Read full book review >
LET’S SAY HI TO FRIENDS WHO FLY! by Mo Willems
ADVENTURE
Released: March 1, 2010

"The author has achieved another triumph in this new picture-book series, which also has all of the hallmarks of accessible, engaging beginning-reader fare as well. (Picture book/early reader. 2-7)"
The same sort of gentle, surprise ending found in Cat the Cat, Who Is That? (2010) comes into play in this second offering about Willems's new feline character. Read full book review >
CAT THE CAT, WHO IS THAT? by Mo Willems
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 2010

"Move over Pigeon, Piggie and Gerald, there's a new cat in town, and she's most welcome. (Picture book/early reader. 2-7)"
Mo is back, and Cat the Cat has arrived. Read full book review >
I AM GOING! by Mo Willems
ANIMALS
Released: Jan. 26, 2010

"To paraphrase Gerald: This is a good book. (Early reader. 4-8)"
The two-time (so far) Geisel Medalist continues to set the bar high for beginning-reader achievement in this latest installment of the Elephant & Piggie series. Read full book review >
NAKED MOLE RAT GETS DRESSED by Mo Willems
ANIMALS
Released: Jan. 6, 2009

"There are some similarities to the Pigeon format (including the trademark temper tantrum, for instance), but otherwise this is a story that stands firmly on its two bare feet. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Willems tackles the old it's-OK-to-be-different genre with his customary chutzpah and subversive charm. Read full book review >
I WILL SURPRISE MY FRIEND! by Mo Willems
ADVENTURE
Released: June 3, 2008

"These two offerings will ensure that Elephant and Piggie's legions of fans will continue to double over with laughter even as they engage in the hard work of learning to read. (Early reader. 3-9)"
Emergent readers (and their grown-ups) will celebrate the publication of the fifth and sixth volumes of the Elephant & Piggie series, stories of friendship and good intentions told entirely through easy-to-read speech bubbles. Read full book review >
THE PIGEON WANTS A PUPPY! by Mo Willems
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 2008

"Even though the pigeon may get more than he bargained for, his many fans with find they get exactly what they've come to expect: lots of giggles. (Picture book. 4-8)"
The charming, exasperating pigeon returns, and this time he REALLY knows what he wants—or at least he thinks he does. Read full book review >
KNUFFLE BUNNY TOO by Mo Willems
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Sept. 12, 2007

"Too often, sequels come off as obviously calculated attempts to cash in on success; this offering, with its technical brilliance and its total and sympathetic understanding of the psychology of the preschooler, stands as magnificent in its own right. (Picture book. 3-8)"
Trixie knows that she will wow all the kids at Pre-K with her "one-of-a-kind" toy, but she doesn't reckon on Sonja, who arrives with her own Knuffle Bunny—and the morning does "not go well." Read full book review >
I AM INVITED TO A PARTY! by Mo Willems
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2007

"This silliness is sublime. (Early reader. 4-8)"
Elephant and Piggie return in two more adventures that will deliver guffaws to even the most beginning reader. Read full book review >
MY FRIEND IS SAD by Mo Willems
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 2007

"The masterful combination of early-reader convention and sly wit make this pair of pals one to celebrate. (Easy reader. 4-8)"
The master of offbeat whimsy for picture-book readers ventures into the early reader with typically silly and successful results. Read full book review >
EDWINA, THE DINOSAUR WHO DIDN’T KNOW SHE WAS EXTINCT by Mo Willems
DINOSAURS
Released: Sept. 1, 2006

"The just-right resolution is a tribute to the child's rock-solid faith in how the world should be, not how it really is. (Picture book. 4-7)"
A fey foray into existentialism from an emerging master of whimsy. Read full book review >
DON’T LET THE PIGEON STAY UP LATE! by Mo Willems
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 2006

The pigeon with Attitude is back, trying every persuasive trick in his arsenal to convince readers to let him stay up late. Read full book review >
LEONARDO, THE TERRIBLE MONSTER by Mo Willems
FANTASY
Released: Sept. 1, 2005

"Bravo! (Picture book. 3-6)"
With a palette straight from the endpapers of Where the Wild Things Are, and postures not a little reminiscent of Max, Willems crafts a sweetly original morality play about a very unscary monster. Read full book review >
TIME TO SAY PLEASE! by Mo Willems
NONFICTION
Released: June 8, 2005

"The zany antics of the mice compel close—and repeated—readings, and the inevitable question: Please, sir, may we have some more? (Picture book. 3-6)"
After it's Time to Pee (2003), apparently it's time to learn manners. Read full book review >
KNUFFLE BUNNY by Mo Willems
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2004

"The natural audience for this offering is a little older than its main character: they will easily identify with Trixie's grief and at the same time feel superior to her hapless parent—and rejoice wholeheartedly at the happy reunion. (Picture book. 2-5)"
Anguish begets language in this tale of a toddler's lost stuffie. Read full book review >
THE PIGEON FINDS A HOT DOG! by Mo Willems
ANIMALS
Released: May 1, 2004

"Some readers may feel this tale could also use a bit more mustard, but children who already love the pigeon will be satisfied. (Picture book. 2-8)"
The determined pigeon of the Caldecott Honor–winning Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (2003) returns in a more subdued performance that will nevertheless appeal to fans of the first. Read full book review >
TIME TO PEE! by Mo Willems
POTTY TRAINING
Released: Oct. 1, 2003

"Those kids move from doubt to magnificent relief to pride in a happily encouraging progression, making this offering number one in the potty department. (Picture book. 2-4)"
That most basic of functions, subject of countless earnest tomes, at last receives a treatment whose instructional value is equaled by its entertainment value. Read full book review >
DON’T LET THE PIGEON DRIVE THE BUS! by Mo Willems
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 2003

"A first picture book by an Emmy Award–winning writer and animator, listeners will be begging, pleading, lying, and bribing to hear it again and again. (Picture book. 3-5)"
This cinematic adventure, with its simple retro-cartoonish drawings, begins on the opening endpapers when a pale blue pigeon dreams of driving a bus. Read full book review >