Monday, October 18, 2010

Mo Willems' Final Knuffle

Acclaimed picture-book creator Mo Willems says 2010 is "my sentimental year."
It's a year when two of his picture books -- "Knuffle Bunny Free" (HarperCollins, $17.99) and "City Dog, Country Frog" (Hyperion, $17.99) -- deal with the idea of letting go and understanding that endings are both hard and necessary.

"I think people are sometimes afraid of endings," Mr. Willems said in a telephone interview. "But I like endings. I like to be able to say that a story is complete."

"Knuffle Bunny Free," which Mr. Willems wrote and illustrated, is the third and final book about a girl named Trixie and her beloved stuffed animal, Knuffle Bunny. The trilogy began in 2004 with "Knuffle Bunny" and continued with 2007's "Knuffle Bunny Too." Both books won Caldecott Honors.

Of the three, Mr. Willems said that "Knuffle Bunny Free" was the hardest to write.

"It also took the longest. I spent several years on it," he added.

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