THE HIGH: SERIOUSLY SILLY: THE ART AND WHIMSY OF MO WILLEMS
Since the publication of his first picture book in 2003, Mo Willems (American, born 1968) has delighted children and parents alike with his prodigious contribution to children’s publishing.
After a successful stint in television, Willems turned to writing and illustrating picture books. The beginning was auspicious; Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (2003) garnered a Caldecott Honor. This success launched Willems as one of the most popular creators of children’s books in the new century.
The hilariously comedic informs all of Willems’s books, originating from his early calling in stand-up comedy as well as writing and animating for Sesame Street. Willems achieves his goal with expressiveness, pacing, and clean, spare design. His work is simple without being simplistic.
Willems’s substantial body of work exudes the dedication and finesse of an accomplished craftsman – which is how he likes to be considered – yet one cannot deny his profound artistry. Happily, he loves marrying the silly with the serious, and we are all the better for it.