105 Ways to Give a Book

Robert’s Snow: Mo Willems

I don’t know about you, but I’ve gotten used to the cute and cuddly Mo Willems. The one who brought us the Pigeon and Knuffle Bunny. The one who gave us Elephant and Piggie. The man who worked on Sesame Street animation for years and took home those Emmys. The man who looks all cute and cuddly himself in his new blog header from his (apparently GQ) photo shoot.

But Mo is a man fighting monsters. Or at least creatively expressing monsters. Perhaps the darkness within fought to escape and having no place in the growing Elephant and Piggie series, worked its way into this Mo-riginal snowflake for the Robert’s Snow project.

Mo Willems’s SnowflakeAs has been mentioned all through the kidlit blogs, artists from all over the children’s book illustrating community have created special snowflakes to be auctioned off, with the proceeds benefiting sarcoma research at Dana-Farber. These snowflake auctions became known as the event “Robert’s Snow.” As a participant, Mo was kind enough to take a few minutes from his busy schedule of writing, touring, and being fantastic to answer a few questions for MotherReader.

How did you get involved in the Robert’s Snow project?

Honestly, I can’t remember. Jarrett K. may have threatened not to talk to me if I didn’t do one, or he may have threatened to talk to me if I didn’t do one. Either way, it’s fairly easy to say yes to organizations that do actual good.

While most of the snowflakes feature winter or Christmas scenes, yours is kind of, like, a monster. What’s up with that?

I have always been terrified of snowflakes. I distrust their uniqueness and they way they lurk.

I’ve noticed some monster themes cropping up in your work — the Monsters in Underpants guide, some sketches on your blog, and now your snowflake. Are monsters ready to make another appearance in your books? (Rumor has it that Leonardo, the Terrible Monster, has been very lonely.)

Leonardo may return, but not for a few years and not how you expect him… (hee hee).

I’ve been lucky to have broken news about your upcoming books. I heard about your early reader series at your speech here in Northern Virginia. We talked about your work on Knuffle Bunny Too at the National Book Festival. Well, both of those have come out now and I’ve got no inside track. Nothing. Bubkes. Care to make any announcements about what’s next for you?

There will be a new Pigeon book in Spring 2008, but we’re only revealing the first 4 words of the title: “THE. PIGEON. WANTS. A. __________ !”

If you think you can guess what he wants, then (starting in December) you can enter a contest on pigeonpresents.com to win a school visit from me.

Extra added bonus: the titles of the next Elephant and Piggie books (due early summer 08):



Everyone’s asking: What are you going to be for Halloween?

The All-American Hero: Captain Dad!
Powers: Napping, Sending Villains to Their Room
Weakness: Adorable Daughters in Costume

If you’re interested in owning the Mo-flake (listen, I can go all day with these), the 2007 online auctions for bidding on these hand-painted snowflakes will take place in three separate auctions, open to everyone, from November 19–23, November 26–30, and December 3–7 (this is when you’ll find the Mo creation!). You can go to the event site for more information and to participate in the auction.

This year, more than 200 well-known children’s book illustrators from around the world have been given a five-inch wooden snowflake to decorate at will. Many, but not all, of the snowflake-making illustrators will be featured across sixty-five blogs. An updated list of snowflake and illustrator features is available at Seven Impossible Things, along with more information about the push behind the bloggers’ involvement in the project and the original call to action. Also not to be missed is Kris Bordessa’s post summarizing snowflake-related contests to date over at Paradise Found.
Here’s the schedule for features this week:

Monday, October 29 Tuesday, October 30
Wednesday, October 31
Thursday, November 1
Friday, November 2
Saturday, November 3
Sunday, November 4
Please take time out to visit all of these blogs, and read about these fabulous illustrators. And, if you’re so inclined, think about bidding for a snowflake in the Robert’s Snow auction. Each snowflake makes a unique gift (for yourself or for someone else), and supports an important cause.

Oh, and Happy Halloween!


Anonymous said...

I love Mo's snowflake! Thanks for sharing this fantastic feature!

Charlotte said...

I love the "I have always been terrified of snowflakes" comment!

Liz Garton Scanlon said...

Oh, man. Dontcha love the 3D-ish-ness of this little flake? And also the quote about distrusting the uniqueness of snowflakes?
My husband always goes as Frankenfather -- I better go warn him about Captain Dad...

tanita✿davis said...

I remember seeing this one and thinking the little clip on the back was especially helpful -- it can go just as easily on something other than a tree. A lapel? Very cute. - Very cuddly. Real snowflakes are probably more, true.

tanita✿davis said...

(more scary, I meant.)

Anonymous said...

Oh he just made my day with that distrust-of-snowflakes comment.

Anonymous said...

By the way, I'm posting his older devil snowflake at 7-Imp today.

Elaine Magliaro said...


I don't suppose you requested interviewing Mr. Willems for Blogging for a Cure? Mo definitely has a great sense of humor. That's an excellent quality in a man, especially if he's a dad. That's one fine monster snowflake!

I think we should do a rewrite of Vera Williams book "MORE MORE MORE" SAID THE BABY. The title of the new book could be "MO MO MO" SAID THE BABY--or, maybe, "MO MO MO" SAID MOTHERREADER.

Anonymous said...


MotherReader said...

Requested Mo Willems for the Blogging for a Cure feature? No. Begged for is much closer to the truth.

I'm also starting my guess for the new Pigeon book. The Pigeon Wants An iPhone!

Mary Lee said...

Mo Willems and Mother Reader go together like his snowflake and Halloween! Happy Candy Coma Day!

Anonymous said...

Hilarious. Excellent. And what good news about a new Pigeon title. Congrats on getting the scoop.

Sara said...

The Pigeon wants a Party? (maybe)
A Friend? (too sappy)
A Hummer? (ha, ha, ha)
A Date with MR? (ooh, that must be it.)

Great feature, as always.

Unknown said...

Am I right about this? Did he use that plastic-coated wire that holds all children's toys into their cardboard prisons to make this snowflake?

That kind of makes the snowflake extra-monstrous, don't you think?

And also cements Mo in my heart as not only a talented writer and illustrator, but also as a fellow soldier struggling with the plastic-coated wire of parenthood.

MotherReader said...

Mary Lee - Candy Coma Day! Hah! Love it!

The Pigeon Wants A Laptop!
The Pigeon Wants An Electric Guitar! Hold it, those are my kids wish lists.

P-dog, loved the "extra-monstrous" vision of those plastic wires. I'll ask...

MotherReader said...

Mo says, " I wish I was so clever."