Have you read any books by Mo Willems? With over twenty children’s published books, Willems’ illustrations cannot be overlooked in any bookstore or library. Like many children’s book illustrators, Willems draws simple characters that are easy for children to identify. Dark black lines outline each character, such as one of Willems’ most popular creations, The Pigeon (NY Times Best Selling titles include The Pigeon Wants a Puppy, Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive A Bus, and others).
What is unique about Willems’ illustrations is both their variation and recognizable similarities in each of his books. For example, in his book Knuffle Bunny Too, Willems uses photographs for the background and draws the characters interacting in this true-to-life scenery. Adults and children enjoy looking at the photographs and examining the superimposed drawings. Although the characters in Knuffle Bunny Too are unique to the book, his drawing style can be easily picked out in his other children’s books, such as Time to Say “Please”! and Leonardo the Terrible Monster.
You know how kids can fall in love with a character and want to gobble up all the stories about that character? Well, that’s how it is with Willems’ books. Luckily there are a lot from which to choose.
Willems’ simple but recognizable illustrations not only complement the surrounding text, but add something more. For adults, the basic illustrations can stir up feelings of their youth, when drawing pictures with thick crayons was the only way to color. And for young children, Willems’ illustrations take the place of words, allowing even the youngest child to look at the story without being read to.