Happy Birthday, Mo Willems!

Mo Willems is a beloved, best-selling children’s author and illustrator, whose silly sense of humor hits kids right on their funny bone. He gives adults a few chuckles as well.  His books are some of my favorite read-alouds.

Mo Willem’s birthday is February 11th, so I hosted a birthday party story time at the public library in his honor.  We had a great turnout:  60 kids and parents/caregivers!  We started by learning about him from this biography.  Did you know he used to be a writer for Sesame Street?

Mo Willems Biography

It wasn’t easy to pick just three of his books to read, but I settled on That is Not a Good Idea!, Knuffle Bunny:  A Cautionary Tale, and Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus.  By the way, if you’ve ever wondered if you are pronouncing Knuffle correctly, here’s the scoop:

Q. How do you pronounce “Knuffle”?

 A. You can pronounce Knuffle however you like, but I pronounce it the Dutch way (it means “Snuggle” in Dutch) with a hard “K” like “Krackle”.

That is Not  Good Idea  Knuffly Bunny   Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus

Our elementary school-age patrons have informed me that they love story times that include food, which is admittedly not my favorite story time activity to shop for, prep, host and clean up after.  Still, I couldn’t resist this super cute food craft, that can be found on the Juggling with Kids blog.  A pigeon driving a bus that kids can make and eat!

Pigeon Graham Cracker Bus

I made it just as described in the blog, except I used frosting instead of cream cheese, and just broke a little piece of the Oreo off to make the pupil of the eye instead of buying a bag of mini chocolate chips.

IMG_6946I made these instructions and left copies on the tables.


Graham crackers (the bus)
White frosting
Yellow and blue food coloring
Chex or Life cereal (bus windows)
Mini vanilla wafers (the pigeon)
Mini Oreos (wheels)
Yellow Starburst candy (beak)
Mini chocolate chips (eyes)

Plastic knives for spreading frosting
Clear plastic cups for frosting
Paper plates

For those who finished early, I left these drawing pages and crayons out.  They can be downloaded here, by selecting Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! 10th Birthday Celebration Activity Kit.  (These are also great to have at the elementary school library for after book checkout, when I read Mo Willems’ pigeon books.)


Here are two very special, regular story time attendees showing their creations, just before they ate them.


This was one of my favorite story times to host, and I would definitely do it again.
I’m even willing to rethink my feelings about story times with food.

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