While Knuffle Bunny is the Mo Willems character currently hogging the spotlights, it isn’t the only loveable creature that Willems has invented. Willems has written more than a dozen books, but these (truly) animated characters are our favorites.
In 2003, Willems released his first picture book, “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!” and introduced his readers to the wild, rambunctious bird who would go on to star in “Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late!” and “The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog” (co-starring a cute little duckling).
Not since Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggie has there been such a good porcine partnership. Gerald, a pessimistic elephant — and, really, do you know any other kind? — and his bubbly pal Piggie, have teamed up for four “Early Reader” books to date. Young kids can follow the duo on educational adventures like “There is a Bird on Your Head,” and learn that sometimes it’s OK to act like an animal.
Most kids know that dinosaurs are extinct, but that fact eludes Edwina, the main character in Willems’s 2006 book, “Edwina: The Dinosaur Who Didn’t Know She Was Extinct.” When a snotty schoolkid tries to prove that she doesn’t exist, the straw-hat-wearing Edwina fights back the only way she knows how: with chocolate chip cookies.
In this instant classic, Willems gives us “Leonardo, the Terrible Monster.” But Leonardo isn’t a brute — it’s just that he’s terrible at being a monster. He can’t even scare the tuna salad out of the most scaredy cat kid in town!