Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Visit with Mo Willems

I walked over to Books of Wonder after school on Friday to attend the Mo Willems book reading/signing event.

As I stood on line to have my picture taken with a life-sized Piggie character (I'm not too proud to wait with a bunch of three-year-olds) I overheard one mom say,

"Mo Willems is the rock star of the toddler set".

Boy, was she ever right!  The place was as crowded as Nassau Coliseum for Madonna's 1990 Blond Ambition tour with all the screaming, impatient fans clamoring to get a glimpse of their idol.

I arrived early to purchase some books (Happy Pig Day!,  The Duckling Gets a Cookie!? and Can I Play Too?) but by the time I found my way to the back of the store all of the seats were taken.  I squeezed and carefully stepped my way to a small area in front of a glass-enclosed bookshelf containing classic masterpieces, many of which were first editions signed by the author.

Mo made his grand arrival about 20 minutes later and read from his new Elephant and Piggie book entitled Let's Go For A Drive!  His delivery captured all of the drama and urgency befitting this entertaining duo.

The reading was followed by a Q & A with ground rules set by Mo beforehand.  He stated, "You can ask anything you want.  And I can answer anything I want".  He said he was once asked, "What color is your underwear" and replied, "Next question".

A bunch of little hands shot up next when he asked, "Who has a question?"

He handed the microphone to a little girl sitting on the floor who asked in her tiny voice, "what color is your underwear?"  Ka-Ching! Well played little smart ass!  She had the crowd in the palm of her hand, only I'm not sure she knew she was being funny.

The Q & A was followed by a book signing.  I was number 83 so it took a while before I stepped up to greet the man.  He was gracious and unhurried.  He even took a moment to pose for a picture with me.

All in all it was an exhausting experience but I am thrilled that I had an opportunity to meet Mo. To quote Piggie in Happy Pig Day... "I am so happy! Oinky! Oink! Oink!"


Cindy said...

You are so lucky. I have wanted to meet him forever. He is also the Rock Star of Kinder teachers everywhere.

Gary said...

Cindy - He seemed like an old pro well versed in these presentations. I actually only went because a mom told me she was going and asked if I wanted to meet them there. She (and her son who is in my class) never showed but I kept looking for them in the crowd.


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