A Mo WIllems’ book list, you ask? We’ve got all of our favorites right here — and it includes BECAUSE, Willems’ latest release, a new, unique story perfect for any child in your life who constantly asks “because WHY??”
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Looking for a Mo Willems book list? We’ve got you covered. But first, an intro to his newest book, BECAUSE.
Sometimes I think of my life as a series of “because” circumstances.
Because times were tough and I needed to find my center, I began writing again. Because I began writing again, I began this blog. Because I began this blog, I switched gears fifteen years into my career as an attorney and became an elementary school librarian. Because I became an elementary school librarian, I became even more convinced that books have the power to change lives.…
Because, because, because.
Life is a series of “because” experiences.. And Mo Willems’ newest book, BECAUSE, beautifully illustrated by Amber Ren, is a stunning symphony of these “because” moments — of experiences that transform us, catapult us to new places, and become catalysts for monumental change.
BECAUSE is a story that showcases the collective circumstances that launch one little girl from being a patron at the symphony to becoming a composer.
How did this happen? Because of many things, of course.
Because a man named Ludwig wrote beautiful music, people formed an orchestra. Because someone’s uncle got sick, one little girl gets to experience a concert. Because she falls in love with the transcendent power of music after that fateful day, she practices and practices playing her own instruments…. and eventually, whether due to luck, fate, hard work or a little of both, the girl begins to compose her own music.
BECAUSE is a beautiful new book, one that is quite unlike any of Willems’ prior work. It is quiet and contemplative, a story that has you pondering those small moments that together create life’s biggest ones. BECAUSE is a remarkable change from Willems’ other stories, yet as always, it showcases Willems’ extraordinary ability to hone in on the small things that inspire so much wonder in children.
If you have a child at home or in your classroom who sometimes falters when they get thrown off course, BECAUSE is a perfect story to share with him or her. BECAUSE helps us see that often times, the things that derail us or occur spontaneously and without plan may be just the events that lead us to something great.
Each seemingly insignificant experience could truly be the start of something beautiful- be it a new relationship, a new path, a new hobby, or (in my case!) a new career. BECAUSE plays with the idea of fate — but it also shows that fate can only take you so far. It’s up to YOU to make life happen.
BECAUSE will definitely be added to our Mo Willems Book List. And now, without further ado, here are some of our other favorite Mo Willems stories!
Mo Willems Book List - Some of our favorite giggle-inducing stories!
Leonardo the Terrible Monster: Leonardo has a problem. He is one terrible monster. As hard as he tries, he cannot scare anyone! So Leonardo finds the most scaredy-cat kid in the world, and he goes on a mission to scare the tuna salad out of this little boy, Sam. Leonardo believes he is successful after Sam bursts into tears, until Sam unleashes a litany of wrongs that have upset him, all having nothing to do with our little monster. When Leonardo realizes how sad Sam is, he makes a big decision: he decides Sam needs a friend instead of a monster. For our full review of Leonardo the Terrible Monster, click here!
The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog: Pigeon is just delighted when he finds a delicious hot dog. He cannot wait to eat it, all by himself. But then a sly little duckling comes along, and she can’t help but be curious about that hot dog and want some of it for herself. Which one of these birds will outsmart the other? Will the duckling get to experience the hot dog for himself? This one cracks us up every single time!
Elephant & Piggie, We Are in a Book: This is, hands down, our favorite of the outstanding Elephant and Piggie series (which is, hands down, one of our favorites for beginning readers!) for the way the reader is brought into the book and is made such a significant part of the story. Metafiction at its finest, this book will make you and your kids laugh as Piggie and Gerald realize that the reader has to read aloud all of the words in the book — and they have to say whatever is on the page! The two character have a blast as they get their readers to say silly words and phrases, until they realize the book will come to an end.. and Gerald goes into crisis mode. Simply put — the best!
Nanette’s Baguette: My students cannot get enough of this book about what happens when one little girl goes out to run an errand… all by herself, for the very first time. Will Nanette get the baguette from the baker Juliette without taking a bite? Or will Juliet be beset with so much regret by making a mess of her biggest responsibility yet? Kids will devour this rhyming, rollicking romp, and you will — no doubt — have a blast reading it aloud!
Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs, as Retold by Mo Willems: This fractured fairy tale is hilarious, and if your kids know the original story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, they will absolutely love this brilliant retelling about Papa Dinosaur, Mama Dinosaur… and another dinosaur who just so happened to be visiting from Norway. LOL!! One day, the three dinosaurs decided to tidy up their house and make chocolate pudding. They were definitely, most definitely not, trying to set a trap for one unsuspecting little girl. Or were they?
Edwina, The Dinosaur Who Didn’t Know She was Extinct: What is it about kids always wanting to be right? In this adorable book, Reginald Von Hoobie Doobie is out to prove that Edwina, the dinosaur in town who gets all the attention, is extinct! Yet, no one seems to care… even Edwina. Will Reginald find a way to let it slide off his back too? Hmmm… maybe Edwina’s cookies will help. Your kids will love this one, especially because they can also look for Knuffle Bunny and Pigeon in the pictures!
That is Not a Good Idea: In this interactive book, a hungry fox invites a goose for dinner, and the fox’s soup is missing just one ingredient. Will the fox get the goose? Or will the goose outsmart the fox? This one will have your little ones repeating the fun refrain, laughing out loud, and yelling at the characters to watch out!
Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: Want to get giggles galore? Then you must make this book a top priority. There are a few things you need to know about naked mole rats. First, They are a little bit mole. Second, they are a little bit rat. Third, they are all naked. Well, all with the exception of Wilbur. Wilbur likes to wear clothes. Gasp! What on earth will his Grandpah, the wisest, oldest and most naked of all naked mole rats think when he sees Wilbur? This story is fun, funny, and a favorite story about being true to yourself.
Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale: This is the story of what happens on an afternoon when dad is in charge and he takes his little girl, Trixie, to run what should be an otherwise mundane errand. The two go to the laundromat with Trixie’s favorite stuffie, Knuffle Bunny, in tow. But their adventure takes a turn for the terrible when they get home only to realize that KNUFFLE BUNNY IS MISSING! This is one of our very favorite stories — and a hilarious take on what happens when dad is in charge and things go totally, hopelessly awry. Authentic and spot in, you will absolutely love this one. For our full review of Knuffle Bunny, click here!
Elephant and Piggie, The Thank You Book: In this conclusion to the fabulous Elephant and Piggie series, Piggie wants to reflect on her good fortune and thank everyone who is important to her. She thus decides to go on a "thank-o-Rama," and poor Gerald is terrified she will forget to thank someone near and dear to her. Though she does only remember to thank Gerald near the very end of the book, there is one group of people Piggie totally forgets-- us! Her readers! For our full review of The Thank You Book, click here!
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