My youngest son, Ben, has this wonderfully quirky taste in books which has led us to finding many funny reads. A few years ago, he came home from a trip to the library with an "Elephant & Piggie" book and our love for Mo Willems began. It's so great when authors and film makers give kids credit for having awesome senses of humor...and oftentimes, adults find this sort of smart content just as comical as the little ones. Think: "The Muppets' and "Sesame Street". Well, Willems work is similar. It's just laugh-out-loud funny. Also, his writing teaches kids that the same words can relay very different messages, depending on the delivery.
Elephant: "You did not fly."
Piggie: "I did not fly?"
At any rate, I was tickled to receive a press release this week, alerting the world that Piggie and Elephant are heading to Yale University in New Haven:
The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library is acquiring the papers of author and illustrator Mo Willems, the award-winning creator of some of the most beloved characters in contemporary children’s literature, including Elephant and Piggie, Knuffle Bunny, and the irascible Pigeon.
Willems’ original sketches, notebooks, and book drafts will join a growing archive at Yale documenting the reading and imaginative lives of American children.
Click here to learn more about Willems (he worked on Sesame Street!) and to read his thoughts about his work ending up in the Ivy League.