Mo Willems writes and illustrates the humorous "Elephant and Piggie" books for "early readers"-- proving to the world of children's fiction that an elephant and a pig can be the best of friends. Their relationship is genuinely sweet. There are several titles to choose from, with some of my favorites being, "Pigs Make Me Sneeze!" and "We Are In A Book!"
Then there are the "Knuffle Bunny" books. Oh my, oh my! I love "Knuffle Bunny; A Cautionary Tale." I LOVE it with a "makes-my-heart-all-aflutter" kind of love!
Mo (since we should be friends and should be on a first name basis) puts his hand-drawn, cartoon-like characters into actual black and white photographs of streets and parks in a Brooklyn neighborhood. (There are cool pictures of a laundromat in the book too!) The end result is an endearing story with pictures that exhibit a truly artistic quality. It's brilliant! Everyone should read "Knuffle Bunny."
Mo Willems is also the genius author and illustrator behind the collection of picture books that are all about a pigeon. They are charming and adorable, and I promise you'll fall in love with the pigeon; the often cheeky, but lovable, hero of every tale. My favorites to read to Lilly are "Don't Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus!" and "The Pigeon Finds A Hot Dog!"
In the book, "The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog," a pigeon...well...finds a hot dog! He is ecstatic by his good fortune and looks forward to devouring his tasty discovery. Suddenly, Duckling shows up and prevents him from eating his hot dog by asking a myriad of questions. (Like, "What do hot dogs taste like?") Duckling begins to unnerve Pigeon, sending him into a fit of agitated ranting. In the end, Duckling procures a solution: share the hot dog. Pigeon happily agrees, and the book ends with the two of them sitting side-by-side, enjoying equal halves of the hot dog.
I've been thinking about this book lately, with it's moral about sharing. I'm certain the principle of sharing was one of the first things many of us were taught as young children. We heard: "Share your toys." "Share your cookie." "Share the crayons during 'craft time' at the library." Our parents, guardians, and teachers knew the principle of sharing would be difficult to instill in some of us (I personally have always struggled with sharing a cookie), but additionally, they understood how lifelong essential it was to learn. I believe that is why we were taught, early in life, that it is more fun to share.
You know what?? It is!!
It IS more fun to share. A hotdog. A book. A cookie. Maternity pants. A box of Twinkies on a play date to the playground. A hymnal. Thoughts. Ideas. Makeup tips. A seat on a bus or on a train. Recipes. Funny emails. Common interests. A laugh. A hug.
And blog posts.
It has been more fun for me to share this blog with you than I ever imagined. I just wanted to THANK YOU for reading. Thank you for being supportive of my efforts to share my talent. Thank you for encouraging and inspiring me. I appreciate it "mo" than you know!
(Now go read "Knuffle Bunny.")