List of books by Mo Willems that you must buy for your children

Children books by Mo Willems

When I was in school, I had the opportunity of being in class with a numero uno student - Jim.

He was not only a topper in academics but regularly aced the debate competitions.

He wrote such a classic essay in an essay competition (interschool) that it even got published in the local newspaper.

The numero uno topped the math quizzes, as well as, the general awareness competitions that involved participation from multiple schools of the city.

Every competition, every quiz I would participate in, this guy would surprise me with his knowledge. I described him to my classmates as ‘the boy who knows everything’.

I would convince myself of my limitations by labeling that guy as god-gifted until I met his father in one of the parent-teacher meetings.

“Read books'' is what he told me. “When Jim was a toddler, I put books in his hands,” he told me.

Importance of children books

Great parenting is a delicate task. You have to take each step with caution so that your kid turns out fine when he grows up.

One of the few factors that guarantee success for your children is the development of an early reading habit.

The best gift, as a parent, you can give to your children is reading habit by handing them children books.

Even if you are not a parent yet, this parenting tip will help brighten up your future.

But you can’t simply hand any books to your children.

You should select books that help in the cerebral development of your child.

Books by Mo Willems fall in the category of books that you will want to give to your children.

Biography of Mo Willems

Mo Willems is an American author who writes books for children. If I am more specific then he writes books for early young readers.

Mo Willems found his passion in creating cartoon characters and stories on them, in his early childhood.

When he presented his stories to adults for reviews, he figured out that adults praised his work only to make him happy.

Mo Willems found it discouraging and thus, he improved by introducing humor in his stories. While reading a story, if the adults laughed, he would understand that he had been able to write something good.

Mo Willems pursued his passion and created some fantastic children’s books involving lovable characters. Mo Willems’ characters such as Pigeon, Knuffle Bunny, Elephant and Piggie have shown remarkable responses from young readers (preschoolers) over a period of time.

Mo Willems characters and books on them received critical acclaim which established him as a prominent children’s books author.

all about Mo Willems

The New York Times Book Review referred to the Pigeon character as “one of this decade's contributions to the pantheon of great picture book characters.”

Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus, Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale, and Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case Of Mistaken Identity are the three books by Mo Willems that received a Caldecott Honour.

Caldecott Honour is awarded to the most remarkable previous year’s American Picture book.

Theodor Seuss Geisel Medals were awarded twice to the Elephant and Piggie Books.

The writing talent of Mo Willems author has broken language barriers too as many of his books have been translated into different languages.

That was all about Mo Willems in brief. You can check out more about him on Mo Willems website.

What age are Mo Willems books for?

Mo Willems books are suitable for children of age range 4-8 years.

Pigeon books by Mo Willems are interactive and resonate with preschoolers the most.

Any 3 or 4-year kid will find themselves completely engaged in answering the questions posed by Mo Willems’ the Pigeon character.

The books have the ability to bring a big smile to any child’s face.

If you read Elephant and Piggie books to your kids then you are doing a service to yourself.

Because you are teaching your kids the value of friendship, the difference between optimism and pessimism in the funniest way possible.

The quirks of Mo Willems characters will pull your kids towards reading books for certain.

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What Reading level are Mo Willems books?

You will find Mo Willems books ranging across the reading levels G to K.

The reading levels of most Elephant and Piggie books are either G or H. On the other hand, the Knuffle Bunny books have the reading level K.

While the most famous ‘Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus’ has a reading level of I, however, you will find other Pigeon books falling in the grade level category of either G or K.

If you don’t know much about these reading levels then let me tell you about them in brief.

G - The child begins to read independently pages that contain 3 to 8 lines of text at this level. The interest grows in fiction, fantasy tales as well as in non-fiction.

H - Child reads longer stories at this level independently. The level of the text becomes more difficult than level G.

I- At this level, the child reads independently some short books of 8 to 16 pages.

K - Readers at this level recognise long words with ease. Their scope of identifying words increases at this level.

So now you know the Mo Willems books reading level and age group, but why would you only buy Mo Willems books for your children?

Why books by Mo Willems for your children?

No matter how much I like reading books, a boring book makes me doze off.

Think about what a boring book can do to your children. Any book which can’t engage with them can mislead them to believe that reading books is boring.

But if a book can make your child laugh over and over as he reads them, then I bet they will develop a love for reading.

Mo’s books do exactly the same. They guarantee that your child will laugh and when a child has fun reading, they will read it again and again.

If you look at the cover of the Elephant and Piggie books it will look simple to you. Cartoons of an elephant and a pig won’t exude much enthusiasm.

But as they say, don’t judge a book by its cover because once you find out why your kid is laughing while reading the book you will realize that Mo Willems is a genius.

Mo Willems knows how to teach his young readers friendship, various emotions such as happiness, sorrow, disappointment, etc using his art.

Your child will learn from the characters how to communicate properly with friends. The best part is how Willems puts humor first while explaining complex situations in the story.

Mo Willems Pigeon books will compel your child to interact with the pigeon.

The Pigeon character makes extraordinary demands to convince you to say ‘Yes’ in order to allow it to perform crazy activities like driving a bus.

In fact, once you read these books with your child, you will find the interest to read them more, developing in yourself, that’s how good they are!

Now that I have told you about how great Mo Willems books are for your child, let me give you the list of books by Mo Willems that you should buy to see your child laughing.

Mo Willems Pigeon books list

The first set of books in the list of Mo Willems books provided in this post is that of his famous character Pigeon.

If you are one of those people who wants to know first how many books in a particular series have been written then surely you will ask how many Mo Willems Pigeon books are there?

10 books in the Pigeon book series have been published as of writing this blog post.

And I am so excited to present to you all the Mo Willems Pigeon books in order.

Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus

Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus is the first book published in the Mo Willems series of Pigeon back in 2004.

A bus driver instructs the reader at the beginning of the book to not allow the pigeon to drive the bus.

The pigeon pleads, requests, commands using all its sly intelligence to convince the reader to say ‘Yes’ to it. But the reader doesn’t have to give in and should keep saying ‘No’.

Your child will definitely enjoy reading this book and you may find them yelling ‘No’ at the pigeon signalling how much they are into the book.

Carnegie Medal, which is awarded to the outstanding video production for children, was given to the animated illustration of Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus in 2010. The book has also received Caldecott Honour in 2004.

Goodreads rating - 4.29

The Pigeon Finds A Hot Dog

If you want to teach your child the moral value of sharing and eating, then buy him this book that follows ‘Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus’ in the Pigeon series.

The Pigeon stumbles into a hotdog and wants to eat it entirely. A duckling shows up and starts asking if it could have a piece of it. What happens later?

You should find it out when you read the book.

The Horn Monthly Magazine, a bimonthly magazine that reviews children’s literature, reviewed the book as “Cartoonist Willems is as adept at depicting the daily dramas in a child's life as he is in using subtle changes in line to convey shifting emotions. The book's clean, minimalist design lets the duckling/pigeon performance take center stage, and the dialogue between the two is played for maximum laughs. Maybe the pigeon's shtick isn't as original this time around, but he's such an engaging character that it's still a treat to see him again.”

Goodreads rating - 4.31

The Pigeon Loves The Things That Go!

The Pigeon character tells its young bright readers about different modes of transportation. He doesn’t shy away from commenting about them.

The hotdog from ‘The Pigeon Finds A Hot Dog’ in the series also makes its appearance. Overall, a nice board book of 8 pages for children by the Pigeon books author Mo Willems.

Goodreads rating - 4.06

The Pigeon Has Feelings, Too!

The bus driver from the first book is back and he simply asks the Pigeon to keep a happy face.

The Pigeon being a rebellious character refuses to do so while displaying a series of emotions.

This short-story board book helps its young readers to learn about various emotions such as anger, and sadness.

I remember as a kid, sometimes I pretended to be mad when my mother would not fill in my demand for chocolates.

But she would tell me some joke which would break my facade of sadness and I would laugh; feeling dejected later at why I did so.

So, when I came across this book I totally saw a glimpse of my childhood in it. I suggest you read it too and tell me if you could see your childhood in it too.

Goodreads rating - 4.14

Don’t Let The Pigeon Stay Up Late!

The bus driver requests the reader to make sure that the Pigeon doesn’t stay up late.

The Pigeon uses its cunning intelligence to talk you into it through different manipulative ways of conversation. With every page you flip, you will find it yawning, but it denies getting sleepy every time.

But does it fall asleep in the end or it tricks its readers to let it stay awake? Well, you will find it out for sure at the end of the book.

The best-selling children’s picture book by Mo Willems brings many excuses onto the table that you must have heard from your little one several times.

‘Don’t Let The Pigeon Stay Up Late !’ is one of the best bedtime books for kids.

Goodreads rating - 4.31

The Pigeon Wants A Puppy!

The Pigeon is creating a wish list, number 30th in which is a puppy.

Yes, the Pigeon wishes to have a puppy. The book will surely amuse its young readers when the Pigeon says that it will water the puppy and give it enough sunshine as if it’s a plant.

Eventually, a puppy shows up in the climax and the reaction of the Pigeon on seeing it is hilarious. You gotta read it to know the end.

Mo Willems shows his genius in this book.

Because he does a fantastic job of relating the story with a peculiar act of kids; when they crave for something badly but when you give it to them they don’t want it.

Goodreads rating - 4.3

The Duckling Gets A Cookie

The self-centered Pigeon is upset and jealous when it sees the duckling holding a cookie with nuts.

When the Pigeon comes to know that the duckling got it just by asking politely, he becomes furious.

The Pigeon expresses frustration in a way that really seems hilarious, showing the duckling that life has been unfair to him.

The duckling gives away its ‘cookie with nuts’ to the Pigeon in the end, which it gratefully accepts.

The book gives its young readers lessons of politeness and compassion.

Goodreads rating - 4.40

Don’t Let The Pigeon Finish The Activity Book!

270 pages of fun and creativity are offered by this book.

The book is introduced by the bus driver and the duckling.

As the title says, the Pigeon is trying to finish this activity book but you don’t have to let it do it.

One cool aspect of this book is that the young reader will find the bus driver at the end of every page, guiding the way ahead.

‘Don’t Let The Pigeon Finish The Activity Book!’ is one of the finest activity books which excites its reader to draw pictures, color them, decorate rooms, posters, newspapers, and many more.

Your child will be engaged in doing activities which you always wanted them to do.

If your child loves books of the Pigeon series then this is a must-buy for you.

Goodreads rating - 4.48

The Pigeon Needs A Bath

The bus driver tells in the beginning that the pigeon is dirty and needs a bath.

The whiny pigeon makes all excuses available to avoid getting in the tub.

The point when laughter becomes inevitable is when it says, ‘I took a bath last month’ and ‘Life is too precious to waste on unimportant things’.

The book is hilarious and the story is well told that surely relates to all the excuses 5-year-old throws in order to avoid bathing.

But in the end, does the Pigeon take a bath? Well, find it out in the book.

Goodreads rating - 4.40

The Pigeon Has To Go To School

The entertaining Pigeon is back in this latest book in the Pigeon series.

But this time the Pigeon is anxious to go to school. Pigeon is not a morning bird, expresses fear of numbers and alphabets, and also claims that it knows everything.

Mo Willems doesn’t fall short in entertaining through this book using only a couple of pictures and dialogue balloons.

A child who is reluctant to go to school on the first day will connect with the story, others will laugh out loud.

Goodreads rating - 4.44

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Knuffle Bunny books by Mo Willems

In case you are wondering how many Knuffle Bunny books are there then let me tell your first that Mo Willems has authored 3 books in the Knuffle Bunny book series. Here are they for you -

Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale

Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale is a fabulous children’s picture book that received Caldecott honor in 2005.

The book is centered on the character Trixie which itself is based on Mo Willems’s real daughter.

She goes to the laundromat with her father clutching her stuffed toy ‘Knuffle Bunny’ to wash the clothes.

Her father finds her upset on her way back but she can’t express her concern as she can’t speak yet.

Thanks to her mother who realizes that Knuffle Bunny is not in her hands. The entire family runs to the laundromat again to find it.

After putting in a lot of dedicated effort, her father finds it, at last, seeing which Trixie exclaims her first words, ‘Knuffle Bunny’.

Publishers Weekly has referred to Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale as “Willems creates an entertaining story for parents and children alike. Once again demonstrates his keen insight with a story both witty and wise."

More than 750,000 copies of this book have been sold.

Goodreads rating - 4.25

Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case Of Mistaken Identity

Trixie is eager to show off her Knuffle Bunny in school but things turn turtle when her colleague Sonja brings the same bunny with her. Trixie gets jealous of learning that she doesn’t have the unique one now.

Both girls then get into an argument. To make things worse, their teacher takes away their bunnies, returning them when school is over.

Trixie learns that it is not her Knuffle Bunny, a couple of hours past midnight. She calls her father who arranges for a swap in the middle of the night.

The best part comes in the end as this entire fuss leads her to get a new best friend in the form of Sonja.

‘Knuffle Bunny Too’ topped the New York Times Bestseller list of children’s books.

Goodreads rating - 4.25

Knuffle Bunny Free: An Unexpected Diversion

Trixie goes to Holland with her parents to meet her grandparents.

Unfortunately, she leaves Knuffle Bunny on the airplane and realizes it too late. Meanwhile, Knuffle Bunny travels to China on the same plane.

Trixie imagines all the places that Knuffle Bunny would visit and all the children that it would meet. To her surprise, Trixie finds her Knuffle Bunny stuffed in the back pocket of the seat up front and she exclaims with joy.

Later, Trixie makes her parents proud by giving her Knuffle Bunny to a crying child that makes it happy.

‘Knuffle Bunny Free’ is the final book in the Knuffle Bunny book series by Mo Willems.

Goodreads rating - 4.40

Elephant And Piggie Books by Mo Willems

Today I Will Fly

A cute elephant and a cute pig get into a funny conversation in the first book of Elephant and Piggie by Mo Willems.

The Piggie is desperate to fly but Gerald, the elephant, tries to convince her that she can’t. So what happens next? Pigs can’t fly, right? Or can they?

Your child will smile after reading it and I am sure that if you read this book then it will also bring a smile to your face.

Goodreads rating - 4.34

There Is A Bird On Your Head

A bird flies down to the head of Gerald the elephant which causes him to become anxious and restless.

He asks Piggie, ‘Is there something on my head?’ to which she replies, ‘There is a bird on your head’ and then the conversation starts in which Gerald wants to get rid of the bird.

Chaos ensues when another bird joins the first one, and they make a nest to lay eggs.

You will find out what happens next once you read the book. I guarantee that you will laugh at the end.

Goodreads rating - 4.33

Can I Play Too?

Elephant and Piggie are about to play catch-the-ball when a snake shows up expressing its wish to join the game.

Elephant and Piggie want to play with their new friend but they wonder how the snake would catch the ball without any arms.

When hope plummets, Piggie comes up with a creative idea which both adult and young readers of this fabulous book will love.

If you read this book together with your child, I promise you will have a great time.

Goodreads rating - 4.51

I am Invited To A Party

Piggie is excited about receiving the invitation to a party.

She asks her dearest friend Gerald to accompany her to the party to which Gerald agrees.

Gerald claims that he knows all about parties and they try different outfits imagining what type of party it could be.

A surprise awaits them in the end in the form of a party which they could not have predicted. This book is definitely a fun read for your child.

Goodreads rating - 4.38

Elephant and Piggie, Should I Share My Ice cream?

Gerald buys an ice cream but struggles with making a decision of sharing it with his dearest friend Piggie.

The story exposes an inner battle between personal desire and true friendship that is consuming time with ice cream getting melted. Will Gerald be able to share it with Piggie?

True friendship conquers personal desires and if your intentions are noble good will come to you; these are the two important lessons that kids will learn from this book

Goodreads rating - 4.45

We Are In A Book

For the first time, Elephant and Piggie realize that they are characters of a book and someone is reading them.

They are so excited at this realization of fame.

Both of them get in an interactive mode by asking you to say a word out loud.

When you say it, Elephant and Piggie enjoy it.

But suddenly, Elephant gets preoccupied with the thought that the book will end. What would happen next?

Read it to discover the creative end. I bet your child will follow what Piggie tells them to do in the end.

Goodreads rating - 4.47

A Big Guy Took My Ball

Piggie goes to Elephant with a straight face complaining about a big guy who took her ball.

Elephant gets furious and rushes to get face to face with the big guy who took the ball of his best friend.

Gerald is shocked beyond words on finding that the big guy is indeed the biggest mammal on the earth.

But, the stressful situation changes when the big guy extends the hand of friendship.

Read it to your kids during their bedtime and they will sleep tight feeling satisfied.

Goodreads rating - 4.41

(Elephant and Piggie) Waiting Is Not Easy!

Piggie has a surprise for Gerald but she asks him to wait for it.

Gerald waits and waits and waits to the point of getting exhausted.

Certainly waiting is not easy, he realizes while waiting for the surprise.

But in the end, Gerald sees his surprise which is…. I should not tell and keep it as a surprise for you.

You want to teach your children a lesson about patience, this book will do it for you.

‘Good things take time and demand patience’ is the message offered by one of the fabulous ‘Elephant and Piggie’ books by Mo Willems.

I Broke My trunk

Mo Willems does a fantastic job in this Elephant and Piggie I broke My trunk book.

Your kids will laugh for certain while they flip its pages.

If you also laugh with them while reading ‘I Broke My Trunk’ then it’s no surprise.

Gerald goes to Piggie with a broken trunk. Piggie asks,’ how did you break it?’.

Gerald says that he lifted his friend Hippo on his trunk; hearing him Piggie assumes it to be the reason for the broken trunk.

But wait! There is more to the story.

The patience of Piggie will be tested in this story but you should read it for the end because that’s amusing.

Goodreads rating - 4.42

Let’s Go For A Drive!

Gerald has a nice idea of going out for a drive with Piggie.

They plan for different unknowns such as keeping sunglasses for sunny weather, umbrellas for rainy weather, etc.

But all their plans come to rest when they find out that neither of them has a car.

Sad? Isn’t it? Don’t worry! Like all other books, this Elephant and Piggie story will have a happy ending.

Goodreads rating - 4.43

My Friend Is Sad

Gerald is sad. Piggie sees it from a distance and does everything in her capacity to cheer him up.

She dresses like a cowboy, a clown, and a robot to make her best friend happy but nothing cheers him up.

At last, Piggie is able to make him lose his sadness but what she indeed did to do so? You will find it out in this adorable book that will adorn your Elephant and Piggie collection of books.

Goodreads rating - 4.37

Miscellaneous Books by Mo Willems

Edwina, the Dinosaur Which Didn’t Know She Was Extinct

Edwina is a dinosaur who is good to everybody in the town.

She plays with children, helps old ladies, and indulges in good deeds.

Because she is kind and well mannered; she is also loved by everyone.

The twist in the tale comes when a young boy named Reginald Hoobie-Doobie tries to prove to everyone in the town that the dinosaurs are extinct.

The story Mo Willems’ Edwina, the Dinosaur Which Didn’t Know She Was Extinct

is heartwarming and is worth buying for your young ones.

Goodreads rating - 4.09

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Leonardo, the Terrible Monster

Only Mo Willems' imagination can turn a monster into a friend.

This cute story is about Leonardo who is a monster but is terrible at his job of scaring people.

But, Leonardo won’t give up until he proves himself so he does research and goes through training to improve his monstrous skills.

Finally, he finds an easy target in the form of a nervous kid and succeeds in scaring him.

Suddenly, Leonardo feels not so proud of this deed and what happens next is charming to read.

Goodreads rating - 4.14

That Is Not A Good Idea!

You are going to have a great time if you and your kid read this book together because you will find it funny with a little bit of adrenaline rush.

A cunning fox that is hungry meets a duckling. The Fox invites it to go on a walk with it to her place in the woods. The Fox invites the duckling for dinner.

You can sense already where the story is going.

I won’t spoil the fun so you should find out yourself what happens next by reading the book.

The Story Of Diva And Flea

The Story of Diva And Flea is a chapter book by Mo Willems.

Diva is a cute, small, white dog living in Paris who strikes an unexpected friendship with a big stray cat Flea.

When your child is growing up and you want to hand them a book of a slightly higher level than Pigeon books or Elephant and Piggie Books of Mo Willems himself, then this one is the perfect fit.

The children aged 6-8 should read this book which is about the friendship between two dissimilar tribes of animals - I repeat a dog and a cat.

Goodreads rating - 4.18

Final Word

Picking the right books for your children can be hard.

You should remain cautious of giving your child a boring book to read because that may make them hate reading for life. This is the last thing you want for your kid.

Reading books at an early age facilitates overall development inducing the right values and virtues.

But when you’re shopping and you find Mo Willems books then I suggest you blindly buy any book from the list of books I provided above.

You will so feel good when you see your child jumping with joy and rolling with laughter while reading them.

Have you bought any Pigeon or Elephant and Piggie books for your kid before reading this article?

Which books from the above list of books by Mo Willems would you like to buy?

Do let me know in the comments section.

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