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Featured books by Mo Willems

Reading Rockets recommends the following books by Mo Willems.

Are You Ready to Play Outside?

By: Mo Willems
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Piggie and his elephant friend, Gerald, are back this time to play outdoors in rain and in sun. Their unlikely friendship is patient, gently humorous, and reflective of friendship — regardless of age or species!

Can I Play Too?

By: Mo Willems
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Snake asks to play catch with elephant and Piggie but gets beaned by the ball as he has no arms with which to catch it. The friends come up with a creative solution for them all to play catch. Cartoon illustrations are as clear as the speech bubbles in this funny addition to the series.

City Dog, Country Frog

By: Mo Willems
Illustrated by: Jon J Muth
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

On his first day in the country, City Dog not only runs off-leash but befriends a frog. Dog and frog play through summer and remember their fun in autumn, but frog leaves in winter. Life's cyclical nature is shown in dramatic watercolors and frank text for a moving tale.

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!

By: Mo Willems
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Pigeon desperately wants to drive the bus, but continued requests are turned down, he becomes increasingly frustrated and irritated. Crisp illustrations and simple typeface tell a story that may be all too familiar! Young children and parents alike will relate to the theme of this Caldecott Honor book.

Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late!

By: Mo Willems
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Readers take over for the bus driver, who cautions them not to let the pigeon stay up late. But as in other books about this willful bird, well… Children get to see this situation from the adult's perspective as the pigeon finds excuses not to go to bed.

Edwina, the Dinosaur Who Didn't Know She Was Extinct

By: Mo Willems
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Reginald Von Hoobie-Doobie tries to convince the townspeople that dinosaurs are extinct. No one believes him, except Edwina, the talented and kind cookie-baking dinosaur — and she should know! The silly humor of Reginald�s comeuppance is conveyed in understated text and cartoon illustration.

Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs

By: Mo Willems
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

The author turns the familiar tale around in this funny take-off. Here, Goldilocks goes to the home of three dinosaurs who would like nothing more than a chocolate-filled little girl. Goldi and the dinos take away very different lessons — all to the delight of well-read children!

Happy Pig Day!

By: Mo Willems
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Gerald the elephant feels left out when his buddy, Piggie, celebrates Pig Day. All ends well as Piggie reaffirms his friendship with in this addition to an ever popular series.

I Will Surprise My Friend

By: Mo Willems
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Like Frog and Toad, Piggie, a pig, and Gerald, the elephant, are the best of friends. In their latest adventure, the friends play together and surprise each other — in surprising and a gently humorous way.

I’m a Frog

By: Mo Willems
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Poor Gerald just doesn’t understand Piggie when he pretends to be a frog. But Piggie persists until his friend catches on in this humorous homage to dramatic, imaginative play all presented with Willems’ signature humor.

Knuffle Bunny Free

By: Mo Willems
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Knuffle Bunny is accidentally left on the plane when Trixie and her parents visit the grandparents. Though Trixie is miserable without her snuggle buddy, she finds him on the plane bound for home where Trixie shows remarkable growth and selflessness. A note from Daddy completes the book's emotional circle.

Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity

By: Mo Willems
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

What's worse than finding out that Sonja has a Knuffle Bunny just like Trixie? Learning that there has been a Knuffle Bunny mix-up in the wee hours of the morning when most preschoolers are sleeping! All's well in the satisfying sequel to the Caldecott honor-winning Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale (2004).

Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale

By: Mo Willems
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Trixie enjoys errands with her dad until her beloved stuffed toy, Knuffle Bunny, is left at the Laundromat. It takes her mom's insight to figure out what made Trixie go "boneless." Only then is the beloved toy recovered and Trixie utters her first real words! Cartoon characters are imposed on a background of monochromatic photographs portraying a New York neighborhood. The book was awarded a Caldecott Honor.

Leonardo the Terrible Monster

By: Mo Willems
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Because Leonardo is a small, not very menacing monster, he decides to find a kid to "scare the tuna salad out of!" Instead, Leonardo finds a boy in need of a pal and decides not to become a terrible monster but a wonderful friend. Clean-lined illustrations and interesting typeface share a story of finding your place and making new friends.

Let's Go for a Drive (An Elephant and Piggie Book)

By: Mo Willems
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Elephant and Piggie gather everything they might possibly need when they decide to go for a drive. They have every possible thing except…the car! Humor abounds as the dynamic duo prepare and then adapt their travel plans.

Let's Say Hi to Friends Who Fly!

By: Mo Willems
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Cat the Cat asks Bee the Bee and other flying animals if they can fly then cheers them on as they do what comes naturally. When Rhino the Rhino goes up in a plane, all of the playground friends join him! Strong, simple forms enhance the deadpan humor in this new and series about the endlessly friendly feline.
See also: Cat the Cat, Who Is That?

Mary Poppins

By: Mo Willems
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The Banks family, their children, and a most amazing Mary Poppins are brought to life through the narrator’s spot-on British accent.

Mole Rat Gets Dressed

By: Mo Willems
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Wilbur is a different kind of mole rat. Instead of always being naked, he dons sporty clothing much to the chagrin of others. That is until his Grand-pah also asks "Why not?" Willems' understated humor in both text and illustration will delight readers of all ages.

That Is NOT a Good Idea!

By: Mo Willems
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

For whom is the walk NOT a good idea, an increasingly agitated plump yellow chick warns? The babushka-wearing goose or the hat-wearing fox? The chick intrudes on the old-fashioned movie format to share his admonition in this comic tale with a surprise ending.

The Duckling Gets a Cookie!?

By: Mo Willems
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Pigeon (of Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! fame) is back. Here, he's irritated that a very polite duckling gets a cookie by simply asking! Could good manners really matter? Understated humor abounds in both minimal text and characteristic illustration.

The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog

By: Mo Willems
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

When Pigeon starts to eat a hot dog, a smaller duckling continues to ask obvious questions like, "Is that a hot dog?" Readers are sure to recognize the behavior of younger siblings in this simply revealed and very funny tale.

The Pigeon Has Feelings Too!

By: Mo Willems
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

Pigeon is back on the bus and wants readers to know that he is not always happy. His range of emotions is conveyed in clean line and minimum text in this board book with lots of parent appeal.

The Pigeon Loves Things That Go!

By: Mo Willems
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

Pigeon emotes grandly about his desire to drive anything that moves: bus, train, plane — whatever! Willems' signature style conveys pigeon's locomotive passion and contagious energy.

The Pigeon Wants a Puppy

By: Mo Willems
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

Pigeon — like most young children — wants a puppy and he wants it now. He wheedles, begs, and promises to get it. Will pigeon change his mind when a puppy shows up? Readers will appreciate that the indomitable pigeon speaks directly to them on each appealing page.

There Is a Bird on Your Head!

By: Mo Willems
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

When a bird builds its nest on Elephant's head, his buddy Piggie suggests that Elephant simply ask the bird to move to another location. The bird honors Elephant's polite request and takes up residence on Piggie's head! Humor abounds in the understated text and simple illustrations of this easy-to-read book.

Time to Say 'Please'!

By: Mo Willems
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Kids will learn how manners can get a positive response, but the silliness of the situations make it fun to read. They will find a lesson and a laugh in these pages, presented with Willems' signature humor and uncluttered format.

Time to Sleep, Sheep the Sheep

By: Mo Willems
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

All the animals get ready when Cat the Cat announces that it's time to sleep; that is, everyone but wide-eyed Owl. Comical, cartoon illustrations on spare backgrounds and sparse text make this just right for new or emerging readers.

Watch Me Throw the Ball!

By: Mo Willems
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Gerald the elephant can throw a ball a long distance but to his surprise, Piggie delights in just throwing the ball no distance at all. Willem's signature humor and cartoon style using dialogue balloons reminds readers that Piggie and Gerald have a great deal to share.

Interested in wonderful interviews with tween and teen authors? Hop on over to our sister site, AdLit.org, and browse the library.

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"To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark." — Victor Hugo, Les Miserables