A Mo Willems Inspired Art Gallery? (book review)

What if you could have a Mo Willems art gallery in your home?

Mo has become synonymous with children’s literature. His Piggie and Elephant series has made him well loved among kids including my own.  His Pigeon stories are equally well-known.  And his Knuffle Bunny books have earned him two Caldecott Honor awards.  The key to his success is his creativity.  Mo is talented in many ways, but it’s his inventive creativity that sets him apart.  His newest creation, We Are in an ART-ivity Book! is just his latest example of what makes him beloved.

A truly inspiring and creative new book by Mo Willems

Title: We Are in an ART-ivity Book!
Author: Mo Willems with an assist by “Mr. Warburton”
Cost: $14.99 (but listed as $10.74 on Amazon)
Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children (an imprint of Disney Publishing Worldwide)
Ages: probably most appropriate for 6-8, but anyone who loves art will appreciate this book
Genre: Children’s Books; Activity Books

Elephant and Piggie return for their 10th anniversary in an activity book of all things.  But it isn’t just any old activity book.  As you traverse it from beginning to end, you are actually making pieces of art to display on the wall.  By the end, you not only design the artwork, but you design your own poster advertising your pop-up museum.  Then, Pigeon makes an appearance as the “Very Important Art Critic” who comes to view Elephant and Piggie’s creations and deems them wonderful!  It’s a celebration of Mo’s collective work wrapped into one book.

The Thinker – Elephant and Piggie style

Not only is this an activity book, it actually is a story as well.  It inspires children to indulge in their own creativity, but what is wickedly ingenious about it children are exposed to famous works of classical art.  Done in Mo Willems’ Elephant and Piggie style, kids can color, create, and view works such as Rodin’s The Thinker, Andy Warhol’s Campbell Soup Cans, and Wood’s American Gothic.  On so many levels this is an extremely creative and inspiring book.  As much as I’ve liked his other work, this one is draws my admiration for the way in which he not only introduces classic art to children in a way they can engage with it, but encourages them to do their own.  Both children and parents alike will find much to love about this newest addition to the Mo Willems library.

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