A friend recently put me onto Mo Willems. She said, “There is lazy writing, then there is this. My boy asks for Leonardo The Terrible Monster over and over.”

We bought a few different books by Willems:

Knuffle Bunny: A cautionary tale
Knuffle Bunny: A cautionary tale
Knuffle Bunny Free
Knuffle Bunny Free: An unexpected diversion
Don't Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus!
Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus!

Mo Willems began his career writing and animating for Sesame Street (what could be wrong with that?) He’s said to be the “the biggest new talent to emerge thus far in the 00’s” by the New York Times Book Review.

His books are GREAT.

It’s refreshing to read to a kid something that is more than a story.

The Knuffle Bunny books are a series about growing up. Most people identify with having a loved stuff toy or blanky. Knuffle Bunny is Trixie’s, and through these adventures, Trixie morphs from pre-verbal toddler to Big Girl.

(Knuffle means cuddle in Dutch. The Dutch connection was a bonus for us.)

As the mother of a fast-becoming-big-girl, the emotions Mo captures in very simple language are very real. Little Trixie sitting alone, in the bath, without her Knuffle Bunny, not quite wanting to be big, is so poignant. I know that girl.

The terrible monster, Leonardo is adorable. Again, big emotions, few words. Funny, cute pictures. Perfect children’s book stuff.

And the pigeon…it’s hard to describe. Big emotions, even fewer words. I guess the pigeon books role-play typical kid conflicts, like getting their heads around the word ‘no’, or being told they should be happy. Kids get pigeon.

Little Heart wants them read over and over. Really – over and over and over. Fortunately, you don’t get sick of them.

If you haven’t heard of Mo Willems, you love Sesame Street, and something a bit different, I can recommend these.

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