Since the publication of his first picture book in 2003, Mo Willems (American, born 1968) has delighted children and parents alike with his prodigious contribution to children's publishing.
After a successful stint in television, Willems turned to writing and illustrating picture books. The beginning was auspicious; Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (2003) garnered a Caldecott Honor. This success launched Willems as one of the most popular creators of children's books in the new century.
The hilariously comedic informs all of Willems's books, originating from his early calling in stand-up comedy as well as writing and animating for Sesame Street. Willems achieves his goal with expressiveness, pacing, and clean, spare design. His work is simple without being simplistic.
Willems's substantial body of work exudes the dedication and finesse of an accomplished craftsman – which is how he likes to be considered – yet one cannot deny his profound artistry. Happily, he loves marrying the silly with the serious, and we are all the better for it.
Organization and Support
This exhibition is organized by The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst, Massachusetts. Support is provided by the Inaugural Grandparents Circle of Support, Spring and Tom Asher, Jane and Dameron Black, Lucinda W. Bunnen, Anne Cox Chambers, Ann and Tom Cousins, Shearon and Taylor Glover, Nancy and Holcombe T. Green, Jr., Joy and Tony Greene, Ellen and Tom Harbin, Mary Ellen and John Imlay, Sarah and Jim Kennedy, Jane and Hicks Lanier, Rene and Jim Nalley, Martha and Mark Pentecost, Margaret and Terry Stent, Margaretta Taylor, and an anonymous donor.
Additional support has been generously provided by the Lettie Pate Evans Foundation and Disney Publishing Worldwide.