by Elizabeth Bleacher
Author/illustrator Mo Willems will be the speaker at the closing General Session at the International Reading Association’s 58th Annual Convention. Willems has been the recipient of multiple awards including the Caldecott Honor, Geisel Medal, Geisel Honor, and Carnegie Medal. The Duckling Gets a Cookie!?, which features his popular Pigeon character, was recently nominated for the Kate Greenaway Medal in the United Kingdom.
Though he has published a multitude of picture books and early readers to great success, Willems is best known for his unique character Pigeon and the series of books that depict Pigeon’s various exploits. In fact, this April, the same month as IRA’s convention, the Pigeon will be celebrating his 10th birthday (and Willems marks the beginning of his children’s book career). In his session A Hippopotamus Wouldn't Fit On the Page and Other Reasons That Mo Willems Writes About Pigeons, Willems will share some insight on the creation and development of his beloved character.
Mo Willems spent a large part of his early career creating short films for Sesame Street, Nickelodeon, and others, winning him several writing Emmy Awards. His newest books include That Is Not a Good Idea! and Don't Let the Pigeon Finish This Activity Book! His other recent books Let’s Go for a Drive! and Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs are on the New York Times Bestseller List and Publishers Weekly’s Best Picture Books of 2012 List respectively.
In addition to his publications, a variety of event kits and teaching aids for Willems’ books can be found at Pigeon Presents, and a variety of online interactives for children are accessible at GoMo.
Find more information about Mo Willems and the other General Session speakers, at the International Reading Association’s Annual Convention website. You can also learn more about Willems’ body of work through his blog.
Elizabeth Bleacher is the strategic communications intern at the International Reading Association.