Friday, November 24, 2017

MO WILLEMS STUDIO DECEMBER 2017 UPDATE

I hope you have a wonderful DECEMBER.  Here are some upcoming highlights:

EXHIBITS!


THE ORIGINAL ART SHOW
Thru December 23, 2017

Society of Illustrators
128 East 63rd St.
New York, NY

Every year the Society of Illustrators juries an exhibition of remarkable children's book illustration in the previous year.  I'm flattered that this year work from SAM: THE MOST SCARDEY-CAT KID IN THE WHOLE WORLD has been included in the show.

I was on the jury this show a decade or so back, and I know how tough it is to pick from all the really wonderful work going on.

Check it out for yourself.  The details are here. 



The 28th Annual Illustration Show

R Michelson Galleries
Northampton, MA 

Thru January 1, 2018

The Annual Illustration show brings together a slew of wonderful children's illustrators every year and showcases the remarkable work that is done in the area and around the world.  A second exhibit will showcase illustrators' non-book work (in my case, some original abstractions).

More details here.

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art Presents Treasures from the Collection: A 15 Year Celebration

The Eric Carle Museum
Amherst, MA 

Running through April 1, 2018

The exhibition features 96 artworks representing a range of time periods and media, from Harry Bingham Neilson’s 1898 pen-and-ink drawing for Life’s Book of Animals to Ekua Holmes’s 2015 paper collage for Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement. Iconic picture-book characters Peter Rabbit, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eloise, and Shrek will delight guests young and old. Artists represented in the exhibition include Don Freeman, Trina Schart Hyman, Dorothy Lathrop, Leo Lionni, Arnold Lobel, David Macaulay, James Marshall, Petra Mathers, Wendell Minor, Jerry Pinkney, Uri Shulevitz, William Steig, Simms Taback, Tony DiTerlizzi, Chris Van Allsburg, Mo Willems, Garth Williams, Paul O. Zelinsky, and Lisbeth Zwerger, among others.

It's an honor to be in this show.

More details HERE. 


ALSO, don't miss pal TONY DITERLIZZI's retrospective exhibit at the NORMAN ROCKWELL Museum !  I'm excited for my pal to have his career showcased in such a wonderful manner and flattered to have been asked to write the introduction to his catalog.

APPEARANCES!


Philadelphia!

December 3, 10 am
The Barnes Museum

I'm very happy to be appearing with my pal Bryan Collier at a venue I've always wanted to visit, The Barnes Museum.  Bryan and I will be reading from our own work and also from the latest ELEPHANT & PIGGIE LIKE READING adventure, IT'S SHOE TIME!

There will be a signing afterwards.

Tickets and full details HERE!


I'm excited to head back to San Francisco for the SF Sketchfest with 2 shows (one for grown ups, one for kids). The shows are in January, but tickets for these things tend to sell out fast.

PORCHLIGHT

Saturday January 27, 2018

7.30 pm
Swedish American Hall

I'll be joining a cool group of funny people telling personal stories in a grown-up (21 & older) way.  I'll be focusing on some writing stories from my career that I think you'll enjoy.

The cast includes myself &:

Aisling BEA



Chris GARCIA



Maeve HIGGINS



Kevin MCDONALD


Tickets and Details HERE!



DON'T LET THE COMEDIANS DO STORYTIME!

Sunday, January 28 • 11:00am
Marine Memorial Theater

#1 NYTimes bestselling author and illustrator Mo Willems returns to Sketchfest with another stellar group of close personal acquaintances and comedy royalty to perform some of his best-loved books featuring The Pigeon, Elephant & Piggie, and Knuffle Bunny! Fun for all, it's a morning or laughs, drawing, a sneak-peek premier of an unpublished book, and Mo!

In it's 4th iteration, I'll be hosting an amazing cast of old pals and new friends:


-->
Aisling BEA



Rachel DRATCH



Tom LENNON



Aparna NANCHERLA



Oscar NUNEZ



David WAIN



Matt WALSH


Morgan WALSH
 
 You don't want to miss this one!

Tickets and details HERE!


STUFF!

This is the time of year that people start thinking about stuff.  Well, in addition to books, there's a bunch mo' Mo stuff to think about this year and you can find it all at MO STUFF.

There is, unfortunately, more and more counterfeit product out there, which is not great for the small and medium-sized companies that the studio chooses to partner with.

Pls. note that the MO STUFF site is NOT a store, it merely links to the producers sites.  When you can, please shop local and indie so that your downtown area can maintain its vibrancy.



Also, do remember organizations like First Book that get books into kids hands and/or your local food bank (Here is why my wife and I do).

THEATER!

ELEPHANT & PIGGIE'S WE ARE IN A PLAY!

San Francisco, CA thru Dec. 31, 2017

Sunnydale, CA Jan 6 -14, 2018

The Bay Area Children's Theater is remounting their sold-out production. Word is that this is a really fun production!

Note: shows are selling out.

Details are HERE!

ELEPHANT & PIGGIE'S WE ARE IN A PLAY!

West Hartford, CT

From December 9 - 17 at Playhouse on the Park.

Details are HERE!

THAT'S IT!



But, if you want to poke around the blog, some topics that might interest you are on the sidebar. 


And, I'm sure @The_Pigeon will keep tweeting...   

Monday, October 30, 2017

Mo Willems Studio NOVEMBER 2017 UPDATE!

NOVEMBER is going to be a fun month filled with exhibits, plays, and a new book by a great pal.

 BOOKS!

Pal, multiple Caldecott Honoree and all around great guy, Bryan Collier, is the most recent artist to create an Elephant & Piggie Like Reading Series adventure with the November 7th release of IT'S SHOE TIME!



Bryan's book has already garnered 2 starred reviews (Booklist, School Library Journal) and  a very nice review from Kirkus.

EXHIBITS!


COLLECTING INSPIRATION
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art
Amherst, MA

Pal Tony DiTerlizzi and I have been working on a very special exhibition with the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art entitled COLLECTING INSPIRATION: CONTEMPORARY ILLUSTRATORS AND THEIR HEROES.
Picture books instill in children a sense of awe, magic, and wonderment, but who inspires the illustrators themselves—the people who bring incredibly imaginative worlds to life? Organized by two prominent figures in the field, Tony DiTerlizzi and Mo Willems, this exhibition gives visitors a peek into the minds and motivations of an array of talented artists working today. Visit The Carle to find out who inspires Tony and Mo, as well as Sophie Blackall, Sandra Boynton, Ashley Bryan, Eric Carle, Bryan Collier, Marla Frazee, Laurie Keller, Lauren Long, Patrick McDonnell, Yuyi Morales, Kadir Nelson, LeUyuen Pham, Jerry Pinkney, Robin Preiss Glasser, Judy Schachner, Lane Smith, and—with a special contribution from his foundation—the late Maurice Sendak. 

Just look at the list of these artists.  This is once in a lifetime show and Tony and I couldn't be happier to have so many of our heroes and heroes' heroes exhibited together.

The exhibit runs thru  NOVEMBER 26, 2017.    


THE ORIGINAL ART SHOW
November 1 - December 23, 2017
Society of Illustrators
128 East 63rd St.
New York, NY

Every year the Society of Illustrators juries an exhibition of remarkable children's book illustration in the previous year.  I'm flattered that this year work from SAM: THE MOST SCARDEY-CAT KID IN THE WHOLE WORLD has been included in the show.

I was on the jury this show a decade or so back, and I know how tough it is to pick from all the really wonderful work going on.

Check it out for yourself.  The details are here. 



The 28th Annual Illustration Show

R Michelson Galleries
Northampton, MA 

Nov. 12, 2017 - January 1, 2018

The Annual Illustration show brings together a slew of wonderful children's illustrators every year and showcases the remarkable work that is done in the area and around the world.  A second exhibit will showcase illustrators' non-book work (in my case, some original abstractions).

The opening on Sunday, Nov. 12 is always a big who's who of illustrators and friendly faces.

More details here.

ALSO, don't miss pal TONY DITERLIZZI's retrospective exhibit at the NORMAN ROCKWELL Museum opening Nov. 11!  I'm excited for my pal to have his career showcased in such a wonderful manner and flattered to have been asked to write the introduction to his catalog.

THEATER!


ELEPHANT & PIGGIE'S WE ARE IN A PLAY!

There are 2 productions of the Elephant & Piggie Musical.  I hope you enjoy the show!

Plano, Texas

Through Nov. 4th at the North Texas Performing Arts Center

Details are HERE!

Northbrook, IL

Through Nov. 11th.

Details are HERE!


THAT'S IT!



But, if you want to poke around the blog, some topics that might interest you are on the sidebar. 


And, I'm sure @The_Pigeon will keep tweeting...   

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

MO WILLEMS STUDIO OCTOBER 2017 UPDATE!

October is going to be another fun month, with a few really fun appearances.

EXHIBITS!


COLLECTING INSPIRATION
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art
Amherst, MA

Pal Tony DiTerlizzi and I have been working on a very special exhibition with the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art entitled COLLECTING INSPIRATION: CONTEMPORARY ILLUSTRATORS AND THEIR HEROES.
Picture books instill in children a sense of awe, magic, and wonderment, but who inspires the illustrators themselves—the people who bring incredibly imaginative worlds to life? Organized by two prominent figures in the field, Tony DiTerlizzi and Mo Willems, this exhibition gives visitors a peek into the minds and motivations of an array of talented artists working today. Visit The Carle to find out who inspires Tony and Mo, as well as Sophie Blackall, Sandra Boynton, Ashley Bryan, Eric Carle, Bryan Collier, Marla Frazee, Laurie Keller, Lauren Long, Patrick McDonnell, Yuyi Morales, Kadir Nelson, LeUyuen Pham, Jerry Pinkney, Robin Preiss Glasser, Judy Schachner, Lane Smith, and—with a special contribution from his foundation—the late Maurice Sendak. 

Just look at the list of these artists.  This is once in a lifetime show and Tony and I couldn't be happier to have so many of our heroes and heroes' heroes exhibited together.

Here's a short video of Tony & I backstage at the museum:



The exhibit runs thru  NOVEMBER 27, 2017.    

APPEARANCES! 


INSPIRATION DAY

Saturday Oct. 07, 2017

10 am - 4 pm

The Eric Carle Museum
Amherst, MA

In conjunction with the COLLECTING INSPIRATION exhibit, we've managed to get 11 of the artists involved with the exhibit to come to the Carle for panels, art sessions, signings and more!

This will be a wonderful once-in-a-lifetime gathering. Check out the attendees:

Sophie Blackall, Sandra Boynton, Bryan Collier, Tony DiTerlizzi, Laurie Keller, Loren Long, LeUyen Pham, Jerry Pinkney, Robin Preiss Glasser,  and yours truly.


We'll have a morning panel with half of us and an afternoon panel with the rest, plus signings, demonstrations, and more!  Very excited about this one.

Details are HERE.  In case of sold out events, there will be a stand-by list in the morning. Chances are you'll get in if you show up early.

PRESS!


Thanks to you SAM THE MOST SCAREDY CAT KID IN THE WHOLE WORLD debuted on the the New York Times Bestseller list last month at #7.  Thanks, you!


A few weeks back I sat down and drew with the New York Times childrens editor, Maria Russo on facebook.  We doodled, we answered live questions, she drew Piggie using steps from  ELEPHANT & PIGGIE'S WE ARE IN AN ART-TIVITY BOOK!  I showed early work.  It was fun.

You can check out an archived post of the broadcast here.  


Some lovable scamps asked me questions, so I answered them.  You can read the questions and answers here.

No, REALLY!

Dean Hale writes with his wife Shannon Hale, but gives piggy-back rides to anyone who writes, as this tumblr collection shows.

THAT'S IT!



But, if you want to poke around the blog, some topics that might interest you are on the sidebar. 


And, I'm sure @The_Pigeon will keep tweeting...   

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

MO WILLEMS STUDIO SEPTEMBER 2017 UPDATE!

It's back to school time!  And that means Books, Appearances, Exhibits, Auctions, & Mo':

BOOKS!

I'm very excited to have two very different books releasing on September 5th, 2017:

 
SAM THE MOST SCAREDY CAT KID IN THE WHOLE WORLD is a sequel (14 years in the making) to LEONARDO THE TERRIBLE MONSTER that expands on Sam and Leonardo's world.  Hopefully, you'll enjoy it!

 
ELEPHANT & PIGGIE'S WE ARE IN AN ART-TIVITY BOOK! is also a sequel of sorts.  5 years ago my pal Mr. Warburton and I collaborated on DON'T LET THE PIGEON FINISH THIS ACTIVITY BOOK! and we had so much fun, we thought we'd try it again!  In this big, thick book you'll get to create all kinds of real art (portraits, sculptures, mobiles, collages, still lives) with Elephant & Piggie and a new friend, Art Vaark, then you'll get to have a big exhibition of your awesome work, and THEN a pigeon-y ART CRITIC arrives!  What will happen?  I hope you'll draw, doodle, cut and paste your way into finding out!

APPEARANCES! 

 
I will have 2 appearances this month, one virtual and one physical.  Both will explore ELEPHANT & PIGGIE'S WE ARE IN AN ART-TIVITY BOOK!



Tuesday, September 12, 2017

4pm EST

The New York Times Facebook Live Feed.

For this exclusive live feed event, I'll be chatting with the NYT's Maria Russo* and making her draw various characters and activities with me (shhh... don't tell her).  Hopefully, you'll tune in & join in as well!

(Link to come)

*Maria is the editor of the childrens review section and responsible for this lovely review of my recent exhibit at the New-York Historical Society.

Mr. Warburton & I promoting our previous collaboration, DON'T LET THE PIGEON FINISH THIS ACTIVITY BOOK!.  Expect more of the same from WE ARE IN AN ART-TIVITY BOOK!
Saturday, September 23, 2017

WE ARE IN AN ART-TIVITY BOOK! CELEBRATION

ALL DAY, starting at 10 am

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art
Amherst, MA

I'll be joining my collaborator, Mr. Warburton, creator of Cartoon Network's CODENAME: KIDS NEXT DOOR and current exec. producer for the upcoming re-boot of MUPPET BABIES with readings and presentations and signings and fun!

There will be crafts! Elephant & Piggie will be there for pictures!  You can check out the wonderful COLLECTING INSPIRATION exhibit (see below)!

The full schedule is here.

Make your reservations for the readings, as those tend to sell out quickly.

EXHIBITS!

There are 3 very different exhibits with my work in (or on) them this month.


COLLECTING INSPIRATION
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art
Amherst, MA

Pal Tony DiTerlizzi and I have been working on a very special exhibition with the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art entitled COLLECTING INSPIRATION: CONTEMPORARY ILLUSTRATORS AND THEIR HEROES.
Picture books instill in children a sense of awe, magic, and wonderment, but who inspires the illustrators themselves—the people who bring incredibly imaginative worlds to life? Organized by two prominent figures in the field, Tony DiTerlizzi and Mo Willems, this exhibition gives visitors a peek into the minds and motivations of an array of talented artists working today. Visit The Carle to find out who inspires Tony and Mo, as well as Sophie Blackall, Sandra Boynton, Ashley Bryan, Eric Carle, Bryan Collier, Marla Frazee, Laurie Keller, Lauren Long, Patrick McDonnell, Yuyi Morales, Kadir Nelson, LeUyuen Pham, Jerry Pinkney, Robin Preiss Glasser, Judy Schachner, Lane Smith, and—with a special contribution from his foundation—the late Maurice Sendak. 

Just look at the list of these artists.  This is once in a lifetime show and Tony and I couldn't be happier to have so many of our heroes and heroes' heroes exhibited together.


The exhibit runs thru  NOVEMBER 17, 2017.  There will be many special events happening throughout the run of the show featuring many of the illustrious illustrators. While there is no opening, we will be throwing a big celebration in October featuring many of the artists in the show.  

Here's a short video of Tony & I backstage at the Carle:

  


PAINT THAT BOX! THE DUCK OF DESTINY, PUP OF PROGRESS!
Northampton Council For the Arts Project
Main Street & Pleasant Street
Northampton, MA 

This summer, Team Willems painted one of the large electrical boxes in the middle of downtown Northampton.  It was hot!  The paint was sticky! It was FUN!

You can drop by and check it out if you come to town.  

(Here's the background on the boxes that were painted this summer.)




THE CARLE HONORS GALA BENEFIT AUCTION!
Thru Sept. 27 at BOOKS OF WONDER
18 W 18th Street
NYC

Then on Sept. 28 at the Carle Honors Gala.

The CARLE HONORS is an opportunity to honor the best in our business and to help the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art continue it's mission of promoting, celebrating, and encouraging childrens book illustration as an art form.

In conjunction with the gala, the Carle has an auction featuring an amazing array of original picture book art.  You can see the art on-line or in person at Books of Wonder in Manhattan starting Sept. 6th.  

My submission this year is an early sketch of the Knuffle Bunny Statue, which as of this writing is scheduled to be located in the new garden of the Brooklyn Public Library on 9th Street and 6th Ave in Park Slope, Brooklyn (just a few blocks down from the real Knuffle Bunny Laundromat).

More details here. 

Happy viewing (or bidding).

THEATER!

There are a no productions of my plays this month, but I'm very excited about this upcoming ROCK event:


 
The creative team behind the Elephant & Piggie musical are working on a new piece, NAKED MOLE RAT GETS DRESSED (THE ROCK EXPERIENCE) for the Seattle Childrens Theater.

This show, which premiers at the SCT next year, has been in process for a few, fun years and is guaranteed to knock your socks on!

Show in March '18, Tkts on sale NOW!

PRESS!

 
The folks at Kirkus Reviews do not underestimate childrens' lit and look at Charise Harper's THE GOOD FOR NOTHING BUTTON! in Heidiggerian terms. 

Booklist also really liked the story, giving it a starred review.


Meanwhile, at The Horn Book, Laurie Keller and I talk about another ELEPHANT & PIGGIE LIKE READING adventure, her WE ARE GROWING! 


Here's a look at a recent appearance in St. Louis.  Always a fun visit to the library!



Here is an episode of the Geek Dads' podcast, where over an hour we meander across ideas, craft, my work history, and more.  A fun chat.


Chelsea Clinton tells the Guardian that her family enjoys listening to the ELEPHANT & PIGGIE'S WE ARE IN A PLAY! soundtrack.  I hope you will, too. 

The album is available here.  



The UK's Financial Times recommends reading DIVA & FLEA: A PARISIAN TALE.  Ireland's INDEPENDENT also enjoys the story, which has just been released by Walker Books in the UK, Ireland, New Zealand, & Australia.

I had great fun creating a recent cover for SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL. It's an interesting issue. 

In this local piece, you can learn about the little things that neighbors JJK, Jeff Mack, and myself are doing for our wonderful local library.


Thanks to YOU, Elephant & Piggie's WAITING IS NOT EASY! popped back onto the New York TimesBestseller list for a couple of weeks in July allowing it to reach a career landmark of 52 weeks or one (non-consecutive) YEAR!  Not the book I'd have thought would achieve this, but the title is a funny one for the feat!  Many, many thanks, you!


 
Additionally, an old favorite Elephant & Piggie's WE ARE IN A BOOK! also popped on and off the NYT list this summer!  Wow!


Booklist had some nice things to say this summer, listing KNUFFLE BUNNY: A CAUTIONARY TALE  among its ground breaking books of the last 20 years and including NANETTE'S BAGUETTE in its top 10 humorous picture book list.

Finally, the New York Times commissioned one of my favorite cartoonists, Linears, to write about going back to school.  It's a charming story about one of his kids and includes pals Elephant & Piggie.  You can read the strip here.

WELCOME!




Here is the promo clip for WELCOME, which released this summer.  

Booklist loves it, saying in a starred review

"This loving heads-up will continue to resonate with all offspring as they go on to toddle, big-kid, and beyond."
School Library Journal called it, "A humorous, loving take on the excitement and nervousness, tenderness and heartache, and worry and fear of new parenthood."

The New York Times chimed in saying, "There’s no children’s book creator quite like Willems, and no book quite like this one... The humor cloaks wise and reassuring words that give parents subtle cues, like a recurring reminder of all that happens “while we read this book together.”

The NYT also included WELCOME on its weekly list of 10 Recommended Books.
  

Publishers Weekly has the inside story about the creation of the book, which is a departure for me. 


This book is a departure for me and I'm very happy to see new people and their new parents sharing it.

STUFF!



Lots of fun new stuff has been released in the past few months.  You can check out all the stuff at MO WILLEMS STUFF.


From the fine folks at Demco, 2 soft, stain resistant carpets perfect for 'criss-cross-apple-sauce' in various sizes.

More info HERE. 


The folks at Demco also have some ideas on how to use my books (including a message from me about the power of a blank piece of paper).


 

For the kids & grown ups, Out Of Print's new READ T-shirts are really fun to wear (I wear mine proudly).  They also have a kid-sized tote!

 

Available wherever T-Shirts featuring Elephant & Piggie are sold, or DIRECTLY FROM OUT OF PRINT.



Thanks to all of the Teachers and their ilk who took advantage of the Kohl's Care program featuring stuffies of The Pigeon, Duckling, Elephant, Piggie, & Knuffle Bunny.  It's my understanding that many of the specially produced stuffies and books have SOLD OUT, but the program runs through September, AND NEW SHIPMENTS WILL BE MADE

Check on line or call your local Kohl's.  When they're gone, they're gone!

Thank you for your wild enthusiasm, I was touched to see how happy kids and teachers were with the program.

Regular editions of those stuffies (and more) are still available via their producer, YottoY.

Remember all the Mo Stuff that's real Mo Stuff is at MO STUFF

THAT'S IT!



But, if you want to poke around the blog, some topics that might interest you are on the sidebar. 


And, I'm sure @The_Pigeon will keep tweeting...