“Edwina: The Dinosaur Who Didn’t Know She Was Extinct” by Mo Willems




Edwina was known for more than her accessories. She would lend her tail at the playground when children needed a slide, and she would gladly change a lamp light in the street. She also baked the best chocolate chip cookies for everyone.  She shouldn’t be doing any of those things though. She shouldn’t be. As any other T-Rex, she should be extinct. Was Reginald Von Hoobie-Doobie the only one to realize that? How could he make everyone listen? Well, he couldn’t convince everyone, but Edwina was willing to hear him out. Reginald was right. Now Edwina also knew she was extinct. And it didn’t change a thing. 

In other words,  with the right attitude, anything is possible. The facts might be what they are, we don’t need to deny them, but it is up to us to decide how we want to feel about them. We can simply choose not to be bothered.

The other day my almost 4-year-old son was standing next to a girl with quite irregular facial features. He looked at her for a while and then he simply said: “You look weird.” He wasn’t trying to be rude, rather inquisitive, but since I wasn’t sure how the girl or her parents were interpreting it, I pulled him quickly aside and tried to explain that such comments could seem hurtful. “How would you feel if someone told you that you looked weird? What would you do?” I confronted him hoping for some remorseful reflection on his side. I forgot I was talking to my own little Edwina, though. “I would say it back”, he responded light-heartedly.  And I have no doubt he would. Just like Edwina, my son can’t be bothered. (And just like Reginald, my other son just needs to be heard.)


348. “Knuffle Bunny Too” by Mo Willems

If you know Trixie and her Bunny, from their first adventure in the laundromat, you might like to read “Knuffle Bunny Too”.

By now, Trixie can already talk and she goes to preschool. Of course, she can’t leave her Knuffle Bunny at home. She needs to show it to her friends. But what’s that? Sonja has the exact same Bunny! The teacher’s intervention is necessary, and the bunnies are taken away. Will the girls get their toys back? And why are they meeting in the city at night?

As you can tell, it’s a real thriller for Pre-K, with lots of  humor the  Mo-Willems-way. And I just must mention the creative photo-cartoon collage.

291. “The Duckling Gets a Cookie!?” by Mo Willems

If you have at least one sibling (or two children), then you know what a sibling rivalry means.  Mommy, why did he get two gifts for his birthday and I got just one? Daddy, she’s got a bigger scoop of ice-cream! Or perhaps, you have had a mean class mate or a jealous colleague, and you don’t need me to explain to you the unhealthy competition, either.  What?! He’s got an A and got only a B?! But if you are up for some giggles or need a way to bridge to your little people concepts of sharing and not comparing, the Pigeon and the Duckling might come in handy.

The Duckling asked for a cookie and got one. With nuts. The Pigeon is furious. How come the Duckling got a cookie, WITH NUTS? Pigeon’s favorite.  The duck got it just by asking for it. The Pigeon asks for so many things and gets nothing. Nobody lets him ride a bus,  have a personal iceberg or a hot-dog party. He doesn’t get a story or a hug, even. Now he didn’t he get a cookie. Why?!

What would you do if you were the Duckling? You’d be the smarter one and gave the Pigeon the cookie, right? And that’s just what happened. After all, you can ask for another one. Without nuts, just to be on the safe side.

Once again, top-notch scribbles and doodles by this one and only master of humor.  Superbly hilarious, inventive and memorable.

190. “Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay up Late!” by Mo Willems

Although I have been intrigued by the work of Mo Willems for a while now, I wasn’t quite ready for it. And if I am not ready, I can’t properly introduce it to my son. I have made this mistake once with Richard Scarry’s “Busy Town”. I mentioned to my little reader that the book was a bit too busy and too long in my oppinion and now he reminds me about it every time I want us to read it. Yesterday came the right time to discover Mo Willems. And the Pigeon. And some funny guy in some old-fashioned pajamas, who asked us to make sure that the Pigeon wouldn’t stay up late. But the bird was far from sleepy. He was rather ready to party, or to watch a TV show.  He wanted to talk, count the stars, get some water- anything but sleep. Until finally… Yaaaawn and zzzzzzzzzzz. Good night, Pigeon.

To cut a short story shorter, the bird was supposed to go to sleep and he didn’t want to. A simple bed time story then? Nothing like it. It will rather make your children revive  and burst into laughter than trigger yawns.  On one hand the book reminds me of Jonathan Allen’s “I’m Not Sleepy!”, with the minimalistic illustrations and dry humor. But at the same time, the Pigeon series (because it’s a series) sets a very unique tone.  I love the innovative, interactive format, where the story is basically a dialogue with the reader. What can be more engaging?! The illustrations are hilarious and the Pigeon… He is quite a character. A must read!