As I was wrapping up my 13 year run as an elementary teacher a "newer" children's literature author was really climbing the ladder of success. Mo Willems had written a few books I knew, nothing overly impressive. Then the pigeon hit the bookshelves! I was skeptical at first, the illustrations seemed childish (they are books for children so I'm not sure why this bothered me) and the stories were very untraditional and even a little "sassy".
My last year teaching I had the chance to read aloud at a Barnes and Noble event, a fundraiser for my school. I love to read aloud so I jumped at the opportunity, even though I was 8 months fat, oops, I mean pregnant. I was to read four stories, I chose three I loved and then the librarian handed me "Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late". I still didn't love it but when I read it outloud, with all my best first grade expression, the kids roared with laughter through the whole book!
Fast forward four years and we get to today at the library. We try and go to the library every two weeks, if not more. We get as many books as they let us take out and we make quite an event of our time there. We have many favorites that we check out over and over, or authors that we stick with...but the kids new fav...Mo Willems and all the Pigeon books and the Elephant and Piggie books. We had two last week, one about hot dogs and one about ice cream. Miss M and JB had them both memorized within a day of taking them out and would sit and read them themselves and just crack themselves up! So cute!!
Today we picked out three more, the kids could hardly wait to get home, eat lunch and then read before nap. They didn't disappoint...we read, we laughed and then we read them again! If you haven't checked them out and you have a child in first grade or under...get out from under your rock and find Mo Willems :)