Tag Archives: Mo Willems

Nanette’s Baguette

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Nanette’s Baguette

by Mo Willems
Hyperion Books for Children, 2016

Mo Willems has done it again with this delightful, must-read-aloud book.  The title hints that rhyming may be involved and it is absolutely true.  Mo finds more than twenty words that rhyme with Nanette and Baguette—he must have made the story around all the rhyming words!

Nanette’s mom asks her to go to the bakery and buy a baguette—it’s the first time Nanette has been trusted with such an important task.  Along the way, she meets her friends—will she forget the baguette?  No, she perseveres.  She buys the warm, wonderful smelling baguette which lures her into taking a small, small nibble.  Before she knows it, Nanette has no baguette!  Her life gets miserable for failing on such a responsibility.  With deep dread, she goes home and tells her mom.  Mom and Nanette return to the bakery for a very surprising ending!

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Waiting is Not Easy!

Waiting is Not Easy!
by Mo Willems
Hyperion Books for Children, 2014
Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Award

Maybe it’s because ‘waiting’ struck a strong cord with me, but I found “Waiting is Not Easy!” hilarious and read it several times over the course of a week.  I read it originally because it won the 2015 Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Award.

The beauty of “Waiting is Not Easy!”, is the words set up the story and the pictures show us the punch lines with humor lavished on each page—they are just plain fun to read!

In studying what makes this books special, I noted it had 57 page books, 25 more pages than the typical picture book.  In doing some research, I discovered Willem’s first career was in stand-up comedy, producing videos, and later he was asked to work on PBS’s Sesame Street, where he garnered 6 Emmys.  He has a talent of seeing each slight visual change in an interaction, exaggerating it for children (and parents) to enjoy.  And he has a talent of bringing humor to the page, through both words and art.  This book is great for parents to read to young children 2-4 and perfect for early readers, 4-6.

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Knuffle Bunny Free: an Unexpected Diversion

Knuffle Bunny Free: an Unexpected Diversion
by Mo Willems
HarperCollins Children’s Books, 2010

Another hit by Mo Willems!  In this one the illustrations are intriguing.  The family takes a trip to Europe.  Mo, both the writer and artist, uses travel photos as backdrops for the illustrations.  Over each photo he placed his hand drawn characters.  Very clever.  He says the biggest challenge in doing that was getting permission to get behind the counter of the airport’s scanning equipment to get the photo he wanted.

Knuffle Bunny Free is a change of life story.  The young girl carries ‘Knuffle Bunny’, with whom she is inseparable, on the plane; but it is accidentally forgotten when they debark.  The girl is grief stricken.  Her family calls the airport, but the plane has left for China.  Her world collapses, she misses her bunny.  Life is not good.  But then one night she has a dream in which her bunny comforts boys and girls all over the world and she wakes up feeling peaceful.  She is fine.  The family takes their seats on their flight home and, to her surprise, her Knuffle Bunny is tucked in the seat pocket.  Her parents are relieved, but the girl no longer needs bunny.  A squalling baby behind her, she turns to the mother and offers her bunny for the toddler.  The mother, and all the passengers, are grateful.  Her parents are shocked!  A very clear and simple moment in which one child out grows her need for a bunny.

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