Who is Jack Nessie and What Does He Want? (Part 10)

Just who’s driving this bus?

Addressing the Concerns on our Editorial Changes

In Response to My Public Shaming and “Dishonorable Discharge” from The Coffeelicious Editorial Team

CNN: How do you create a timeless tale?
Willems: That’s a tough question. Besides dumb luck, I’m not sure. I do have a couple of rules that I place for myself in my books. The first is a mantra, which is: Always think of your audience, but never think for your audience. What that means is to leave it open to interpretation. I’m not telling things, I’m asking questions. And I’m asking questions that I don’t necessarily have the answers to. The other formal thing that I do is that I make sure that the characters in my books — in this (‘That Is Not a Good Idea!’) case, the chicks in particular — are characters that a 4- or a 5-year-old can draw: infringe on my copyright with great ease. So a lot of my design work is reductive. I make drawings, then I try to take as many lines out, so that it’s at its easiest to copy.
Everyone needs more Mo, yes?

Mo Willems: ‘I Want My Books To Be Played’

On engendering creativity
Every book is a question I don’t know the answer to. I figure if it’s a good question, then it’s a universal question. I don’t want my books to be read, I want them to be played. The idea is that you’re engendering creativity. Reading is great but it is ultimately a form of consumption. What I want is after they read the book, for a kid to say, “I’ve got an idea: Don’t Let the Pigeon…operate the catapult, Don’t Let the Pigeon…audit my neighbor.” And then they go out and infringe on my copyright and they make their own stories. And that’s awesome.
More cowbell, more empathy


(Part 11)

Big Bonus!