Why Picture Books Are Important by Mo Willems

by Dianne on November 6, 2015

Mo Willems book cover

Why Picture Books Are Important by Mo Willems
If you’ve ever wondered why picture books don’t come with batteries, it’s because they’re powered by mind melding with their audience. That’s powerful stuff to put into someone’s little hands.

Photo Credit: Jo Chattman

Photo Credit: Jo Chattman

About Mo Willems
Mo Willems, a New York Times number one best-selling author and illustrator, has been awarded a Caldecott Honor on three occasions (for Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale, and Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity). Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! was also an inaugural inductee into the Indies Choice Picture Book Hall of Fame. His celebrated Elephant & Piggie early-reader series has been awarded the Theodor Seuss Geisel Medal twice (for There Is a Bird on Your Head! and Are You Ready to Play Outside?) as well as garnering five Geisel Honors (for We Are in a Book!, I Broke My Trunk!, Let’s Go for a Drive!, A Big Guy Took My Ball! and Waiting is Not Easy!). Mo lives in Massachusetts with his family. Visit www.pigeonpresents.com.

Literacy Activity
Nov 6 ~ Birds

“Picture books lend themselves nicely to technical writing assignments, including but not limited to letters to authors or illustrators, book reviews, research papers based on a theme found within the story.” (from the Picture Book Month Teacher’s Guide: Why Picture Books Belong in Our Classroom by Marcie Colleen, 2013).

Often characters in picture books are faced with a dilemma or a problem. Or in the case of Mo Willems’s Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, the readers face the question: should we or shouldn’t we? Each reader might have their own answer and that is the perfect opportunity for some debate. Let Team “Let the Pigeon” go head-to-head with Team “Don’t Let the Pigeon.” It’s a fun and interactive way of teaching opinion and the art of persuasion, both written and verbal.

Suggested reading:
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems
There is a Bird on Your Head (An Elephant and Piggie book) by Mo Willems
Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard
Early Bird by Toni Yuly
The Lion and the Bird by Marianne Dubuc

Be sure to download the Picture Book Month Teacher’s Guide: Why Picture Books Belong in Our Classroom for more engaging ideas and activities to bring picture books into the ELA, Math, Science, and Social Studies curriculum!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

C.L. Murphy November 6, 2015 at 1:26 pm

A short and sweet post by the PB Master Mo. Powered by the mind!


:Donna November 10, 2015 at 12:23 am

Leave it to Mo to be so poignant as well as succinct 🙂 The man’s a PB genius!


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