Mo Willems

Illustrator and author Mo Willems was born in Des Plaines, Illinois on February 11, 1968. He grew up in New Orleans, where he graduated from Isidore Newman School and Trinity Episcopal School. He graduated cum laude from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Mo initially became interested in cartoon art when he was a little kid. He started drawing and creating his own characters around the age of three or four. Willems enjoyed penning tales about the characters he created and shared them with others but got disappointed when adults just praised his work to be polite.

In 2003, he left his career in television in order to become a stay-at-home dad for his daughter. He liked the idea of having lunch with his entire family each day, and he just wanted to be back in a business that allowed him to work from home. Mo feels more freedom writing books than he had writing for television, too.

He is best known for the Caldecott Honor winning picture books “Knuffle Bunny: a cautionary tale” and “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus”. His “Elephant and Piggie” series has won the Theodor Seuss Geisel Medal in 2008 and 2009 as well as Geisel Honors in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015.

His books have spawned animated shorts and theatrical music productions and been translated into several languages. While his wire sculpture, illustrations, and carved ceramics have been exhibited in museums and galleries all around the nation.

Books in order of publication:

Knuffle Bunny Books

Knuffle Bunny(2004) 
Knuffle Bunny Too(2007) 
Knuffle Bunny Free(2010) 

Elephant & Piggie Books

Are You Ready to Play Outside?(2001) 
Today I Will Fly!(2007) 
My Friend is Sad(2007) 
I am Invited to a Party!(2007) 
There Is a Bird on Your Head!(2007) 
I Love My New Toy!(2008) 
I Will Surprise My Friend!(2008) 
Watch Me Throw the Ball!(2009) 
Elephants Cannot Dance!(2009) 
Pigs Make Me Sneeze!(2009) 
I am Going!(2010) 
Can I Play Too?(2010) 
We are in a Book!(2010) 
I Broke My Trunk!(2011) 
Should I Share My Ice Cream?(2011) 
Happy Pig Day!(2011) 
Listen to My Trumpet!(2012) 
Let’s Go for a Drive!(2012) 
A Big Guy Took My Ball!(2013) 
I’m a Frog!(2013) 
My New Friend Is So Fun!(2014) 
Waiting is Not Easy!(2014) 
I Will Take a Nap!(2015) 
I Really Like Slop!(2015) 
The Thank You Book(2016)

Pigeon Books

The Pigeon Has Feelings, Too! (1994)  

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (2003)  

The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog! (2005)  

The Pigeon Loves Things That Go! (2005)  

Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! (2006)  

Pigeon Wants a Puppy! (2008)  

The Duckling Gets a Cookie!? (2012)  

Don’t Let the Pigeon Finish This Activity Book! (2012)  

The Pigeon Needs a Bath! (2014)  

The Pigeon HAS to Go to School! (2019)  

Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! Books

The Cookie Fiasco (With: Dan Santat)(2016) 
We Are Growing! (With: Laurie Keller)(2016) 
The Good for Nothing Button (With: Charise Mericle Harper)(2017) 
It’s Shoe Time! (With: Bryan Collier)(2017) 
The Itchy Book! (With: LeUyen Pham)(2018) 
Harold & Hog Pretend For Real! (With: Dan Santat)(2019) 
What About Worms!?(2020) 
I’m On It!(2021) 

Publication Order of Leonardo Books

Leonardo, the Terrible Monster(2005) 
Sam, the Most Scaredy-cat Kid in the Whole World(2017) 

Cat the Cat Books

Cat the Cat Who Is That?(2010) 
Let’s Say Hi to Friends Who Fly!(2010) 
What’s Your Sound, Hound the Hound?(2010) 
Time to Sleep, Sheep the Sheep!(2010) 

Time to… Books

Time to Pee!(2003) 
Time to Say(2005) 

Unlimited Squirrels Books

I Lost My Tooth!(2018) 
Who is the Mystery Reader?(2019) 
I Want to Sleep Under the Stars!(2020) 
Guess What!?(2021) 

Standalone Novels

You Can Never Find a Rickshaw When It Monsoons(2006) 
Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed(2009) 
Big Frog Can’t Fit In(2009) 
City Dog, Country Frog(2010) 
Hooray for Amanda & Her Alligator!(2011) 
Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs(2012) 
That Is Not a Good Idea!(2013) 
Diva and Flea(2015) 
Nanette’s Baguette(2016) 
A Busy Creature’s Day Eating!(2018) 


Every Man for Himself(2005)
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