Friday, January 27, 2017

MO WILLEMS STUDIO FEBRUARY 2017 UPDATE


I hope you all have a wonderful FEBRUARY filled with reading and laughs.  Here are some of the things planned for this month:

FRIENDIVERSARY!   




February is Friendiversary Month, the month where, for the past 7 years, the Mo Willems Studio teams up with First Book to insure that every 2nd grader at a Title 1 school in New Orleans (LA), Springfield (MA), and Holyoke (MA) goes home with an Elephant & Piggie Book of their very own.


I'll be visiting a school in Holyoke to read and distribute some of the books.  Always a highlight of the year for me.

YOU can join the fun all day on SATURDAY FEBRUARY 4 when the ERIC CARLE MUSEUM in Amherst (MA) throws their Friendiversary Party

Elephant and Piggie will be there, there will be games, story times, art projects, films, and you'll be able to drive the Bus that The Pigeon can't! 


Plus there will be free books for every kid who comes thanks to Hyperion Books and First Book! 



If YOU want to help throw a Friendiversary for a deserving school near you, you can!  Reach out to First Book to see how you can help.

HOORAY!


Congratulations to LAURIE KELLER for winning the 2017 THEODOR SEUSS GEISEL MEDAL from the American Association of Librarians for WE ARE GROWING! (An Elephant & Piggie Like Reading Book).

Laurie's book, along with Dan Santat's, launched this new series of easy readers.  It's been a joy to work with and watch Laurie craft the best possible story about some blades of grass.  The grass really is greener on her side.
We'll be publishing a new Elephant & Piggie book this spring, written and illustrated by Laurie's pal, Charise Harper.

This year's selections were wonderful and honored many of my pals and one of my neighbors, David Milgrim, who lives down the block.  It was also a joy to see the inspiring Ashley Bryan win a Newbery Honor in his 90's.

Huzzahs all around.

THEATER!   

KENNEDY CENTER TOUR!




 


The KENNEDY CENTER TOURING production of ELEPHANT & PIGGIE'S WE ARE IN A PLAY! is back on the road all across AMERICA and CANADA.

It's a great show and one that often sells out.  So, get your tickets!

Remember to contact the individual venues for tickets and details.  There will be many other locations with school performances, but these dates are be open to the public.

Note: schedules are subject to change.

Here is the tour schedule for the next few months:

February 8                 Indianapolis, IN           Clowes Hall
February 10-11          Skokie, IL                    North Shore Center
February 16-17          Des Moines                Des Moines Civic Center
February 19-20          Madison, WI              The Overture Center for the Arts
February 25-26          St. Louis, MO            Center of Creative Arts (COCA)
February 28               Glen Ellyn, IL              McAninch Arts Center

March 3                     Lafayette, LA               Acadiana Center for the Arts
March 8-10               Greenville, SC            The Peace Center for the Performing Arts
March 14                  Westhampton Beach, NY  Westhampton Beach Performing Arts
March 16-17             Newark, NJ                   New Jersey Performing Arts Center
March 18                   Northampton, MA        Academy of Music
March 19-20             Hanover, NH                 Moore Theater, Hopkins Center for the Arts
March 21                   Burlington, VT              Flynn Center for the Performing Arts
March 22                   Portsmouth, NH           The Music Hall
March 25                   Ottowa, ON                 Centrepointe
March 26                   Oakville, ON                Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts
March 27                   Richmond Hill, ON       Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts
March 29                   Burlington, ON             Burlington Performing Arts Centre

I will be attending the performance in NORTHAMPTON, MA on MARCH 18 and doing a talk back.  Get your tickets from the Academy of Music before they sell out!

 

The big show is the 2 week run in NYC with a live band at the New Victory Theater Off-Broadway on 42nd in late January and early February, the plays Off-Broadway Debut!

I'll be on hand for a talk back with the composer, Deborah Wicks La Puma after the 3pm show on February 4 and I'll be doing a signing after the 7pm show that same day. 


Other theater companies are performing my plays as well!  Check them out if they're in your area.  You'll be supporting local artists, introducing your kids to the joys of theater, and hopefully have a laugh or two. 

AUSTIN, TX!

The ZACH Theater production of ELPHANT & PIGGIE'S WE ARE IN A PLAY! will open on February 14 & runs thru April 28th!


REDMOND, WA!


The Second Story Rep production of ELPHANT & PIGGIE'S WE ARE IN A PLAY! will open on February 11 & runs thru March 5th!


WARREN, PA!

The STRUTHERS LIBRARY THEATER production of KNUFFLE BUNNY: A CAUTIONARY MUSICAL runs from Feb. 23 - 26.

ATLANTA!

 

The Alliance Theater's wonderful, interactive production for VERY young audiences, PLAY THE PLAY WITH CAT THE CAT runs thru February 19th!

THANKS/nice news!


Thanks to you, Elephant & Piggie's WAITING IS NOT EASY! popped back onto the New York Times Bestseller list in January.  Thanks, you!


A heartwarming story in January was that of Daliyah Marie Arana, a 4 year old who, because she has read over 1,000 books, was made honorary Librarian of Congress for a day by the Librarian of Congress, Dr. Carla Hayden.  I was  touched by Daliyah and her mom, all the more so because it turns out she likes my books!  Thank you Daliyah!

Continuing....

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




 




If you'd like to see some of my cartoons and doodles, check out FROM THE MO WILLEMS SKETCHBOOK., which features 25 months of drawings and ideas from Paris, France, Northampton, MA, and beyond. They're currently re-running, so you can see an old, new drawing every day!



































Sunday, January 1, 2017

Mo Willems Studio JANUARY 2017 update!

2017


Wishing you a year of kindness, bravery, challenges, and a little soaring...

This year will be a busy one, with lots of surprises and new things to see and do.

A few highlights include:



The 10 year Anniversary of the publication of the ELEPHANT & PIGGIE adventures.  We'll be celebrating in all sorts of ways, including the publication of  AN ELEPHANT & PIGGIE BIGGIE!, a bind-up volume of 5 of the books.



The publication of WELCOME, A MO WILLEMS GUIDE FOR NEW ARRIVALS. This is a new experiment for me, a cross between a novelty book (it has a mirror), a celebration of what's to come in a new life, and a love poem.  I hope you enjoy.


ELEPHANT & PIGGIE'S WE ARE IN A PLAY! will continue it's Kennedy Center National Tour, plus there will be many other productions of the play and of KNUFFLE BUNNY: A CAUTIONARY MUSICAL across the nation.



The publication of the 3rd ELEPHANT & PIGGIE LIKE READING! book, Charise Harper's wonderful THE GOOD FOR NOTHING BUTTON.

 

Two new ELEPHANT & PIGGIE adventures in Spanish!

A few more fun book surprises I can't mention yet.

A new animated short. 


FRIENDIVERSARY fun!

Pal Tony DiTerlizzi and I will be curating and participating in a group exhibition featuring a wonderful gang of contemporary children's book illustrators and their inspirations.  This one's going to be a knock out!

I'll be visiting many places including Portland, OR; Minneapolis, MN; St. Louis, MO; NYC; Amherst, MA, Springfield, MA...

And Mo'!

I hope everyone will have a happy, safe, and healthy 2017.  Perhaps we can even be kind to each other.



But what about JANUARY?

APPEARANCES

 
I'll be visiting the Barnes & Noble in HOLYOKE, MA on SATURDAY JANUARY 21st @ 2pm to read NANETTE'S BAGUETTE, answer questions, and sign books!

Details are here!

These events tend to get busy, so please contact the store regarding signing policies, line tickets, etc.

CARTOONS


The Belmont Family Film Festival in Belmont, MA will be screening a program of animated films based on my books entitled LAUGH OUT LOUD WITH MO WILLEMS on January 15th at 10.30 am.  I suspect you will be allowed to laugh on the inside as well.

The details are here!
 
THANKS/nice news!

 
Thanks to you WAITING IS NOT EASY! found it's way onto the New York Times Picture Book Bestseller list last month!  Thanks, you.



I was blown away that THE THANK YOU BOOK was voted the Goodreads Picture Book of the year by the fans.  Thank you for your support, Goodreads readers! 

THE THANK YOU BOOK was also awarded a Nerdie (along with this year's ELEPHANT & PIGGIE LIKE READING books)!



School Library Journal named the animated version of THAT IS NOT A GOOD IDEA! as one of their 10 best DVD's of 2016 and specifically mentioned the TEAM MO documentary at the end, a series of interviews with many of the people who make my work possible conceived, shot, and directed by Trixie Willems. Go, Trix!


NANETTE'S BAGUETTE was named a Booklist Editors' Choice for 2016.
 

The Washington Post includes Elephant & PIggie's CAN I PLAY TOO? on their list of books to help children in stressful times.  Now, if they'd only create a list for authors in stressful times...


My papers reside at the Yale University Beinecke Library along with a host of amazing work for children over the history of the printed image.  This article highlights STORYTIME a new book of scholarly essays based around work from the collection, including mine. The whole book makes for an interesting read.

INTERVIEWS!


Max from Scholastic Kids News had some good questions for me recently. You can read the interview here.


Here is a longer, in depth interview on the YARN podcast where I discuss my work methods, approaches to writing, and what (I think) a writer should and should not be terrified of.  I enjoyed this one and hope you will too.

THEATER!   
 
KENNEDY CENTER TOUR!




I'm excited that the KENNEDY CENTER TOURING production of ELEPHANT & PIGGIE'S WE ARE IN A PLAY! is back on the road all across AMERICA and CANADA.

It's a great show and one that often sells out.  So, get your tickets! 

Remember to contact the individual venues for tickets and details.  There will be many other locations with school performances, but these dates are be open to the public.  

Note: schedules are subject to change.

Here is the tour schedule for the next few months:






The big show is the 2 week run in NYC with a live band at the New Victory Theater Off-Broadway on 42nd in late January and early February, the plays Off-Broadway Debut!

The show's run is ALMOST SOLD OUT, so get your tickets asap.

I'll be on hand for a talk back with the composer, Deborah Wicks La Puma after the 3pm show on February 4 and I'll be doing a signing after the 7pm show that same day. (I'm afraid both those performances are SOLD OUT).


If you can't make it to any of the shows, the original cast album of ELEPHANT & PIGGIE is available here! 


EXHIBITS!
  

THE R. MICHELSON GALLERIES, Northampton, MA




 THE 27TH ANNUAL ILLUSTRATION SHOW


A grand Children's Book Illustration tradition, this exhibit at the R. Michelson Galleries features an amazing array of original art from your favorite books.  This year they'll also have a selection of various artists personal work.  A show not to be missed.

Among the selections will be some original drawings and constructions from NANETTE'S BAGUETTE on view plus a few of my non-book Magnet Doodles upstairs.

Here are images from opening night.
 
This exhibit is open to the public and runs thru January 15, 2017

Continuing....

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




If you'd like to see some of my cartoons and doodles, check out FROM THE MO WILLEMS SKETCHBOOK., which features 25 months of drawings and ideas from Paris, France, Northampton, MA, and beyond. They're currently re-running, so you can see an old, new drawing every day!

 


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