Mo Willems Author Study

Background Information: Mo Willems was born on February 11, 1968 in Des Plaines, Illinois and was raised in New Orleans.

He currently lives in Massachusetts with his wife, Cheryl and his daughter Trixie.

He graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and then spend years traveling around the world drawing cartoon every day. (Which all have been published in the book You Can Never Find a Rickshaw When it Monsoons.)

The book that Mo has all of his cartoons published in.


He started his career out by traveling after graduating from high school. He performed stand up comedy in London. Then Mo moved to New York and studied film and switched to animation. The first part of his career was spent writing and animating for children’s television. For nine years he worked on Sesame Street where he created characters such as Suzy Kabloozie, and later created Sheep in the Big City for the Cartoon Network and The Off-Beats for Nickelodeon.

Illustrations: He tried writing books for several years and kept facing rejection until one day a simple doodle of a pigeon caught the eye of an editor. This pigeon later became the star of his first book, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus.

There is a Mo Willems App you can download on a phone or tablet. On this app one of the things it allows you to do is it teaches you how to draw Mo's Pigeon.

From the Television to Books: Later in 2003 he left his career at Sesame to become a stay at home father, as well as for a couple of other reasons. One was that if he wrote books he would be able to work at home. He loved the idea of having lunch with his family every day. He also had more freedom writing books than he would have had in writing for television.


Mo has written over 55 books in his lifetime so far....

Some of them incude the Pigeon series, the Cat the Cat series, the Elephant and Piggie series, and the Knuffle Bunny series along with many other books.

This is an adobe spark video of me reading his first and most famous book, Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!


“All of the life changing awesome words and pictures and ideas inside your library are useless without just one word outside your library. OPEN.”

“The difference between children and adults is that they’re shorter, not dumber.”

“Books beat boredom.”

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