20 January 2012

Bookshelf: Mo Willems

As a reader, if I liked one book, I would try to read everything by that author.  Sometimes I find gold, and other times I realize, 50 pages in, that I'm glad I get to take some of them back to the library.

Long ago, one of the children's librarians at our local library recommended Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems.  Since then, we have been enchanted by so many of his works.  Find them at your library, or click on the pictures to see the Amazon page:

The Knuffle Bunny series, a lovely story of a girl and her lovey, is told through a great combination of drawings and photography.

Elephant and Piggie are best friends, and expressive story tellers.  The first book we read left me wondering why there could be so many books in the series, but once we got to know the characters, we certainly loved them. The stories are full of resilience and the give-and-take that encompasses all of the joys and hardships of learning how to be a friend.

The Cat the Cat series is geared toward shorter attention spans, and has the short stories and rhyming to engage the youngest listeners.

 My favorite non-series book from Mo Willems is Leonardo, the Terrible Monster.  I really enjoy the message of this book:  if you find it impossible to do what you think you ought to do, you might try your hand at doing things differently.

Mo Willems also wrote City Dog, Country Frog, while another charming author of children's books, John Muth, did the illustrations.  This book is about friendship and loss, and it was so touching, it brought tears to my eyes the first few times I read it.  It is very important to introduce children to different kinds of loss, so they are able to explore their feelings and the world.  I think it would be far easier to discuss an actual loss (through death or just through lives adjusting around moves and divorces) when kids have already been introduced to the ideas at a time when they can explore their own emotions.

No comments:

Post a Comment