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You’re invited to ‘Lunch Doodles’ with Mo Willems

Kennedy Center hosts fun virtual event to benefit kids everywhere off from school

Author Mo Willems poses for photographs with his newest book during BookExpo America.
Author Mo Willems poses for photographs with his newest book during BookExpo America. (2015 FilmMagic/Getty Images)

You know Mo Willems, right? (And if you don’t, you’re about to!)

Err, we’ll rephrase this for parents everywhere: You’re probably more familiar with Elephant and Piggie. Or that darn pigeon (who wants to drive the bus and stay up late) -- or perhaps Trixie and her pal, Knuffle Bunny.

Willems is the brilliant author and illustrator behind those beloved children’s books, and we have some excellent news: he’s coming over for lunch.

That, or maybe YOU’RE coming to “his place” for lunch.

Either way, you can open a laptop, tablet or your cellphones each day at 1 p.m. Eastern, and Willems will be in the palm of your hand, inside his studio, hosting something called “Lunch Doodles.”

“Learners worldwide can draw, doodle and explore new ways of writing by visiting Mo’s studio virtually once a day for the next few weeks,” said the Kennedy Center, which is hosting the virtual event. “Grab some paper and pencils, pens, or crayons and join Mo to explore ways of writing and making together.”

This happens every weekday, but if you miss the live version, you can stream it afterward.

Here’s Monday’s “episode,” which, at last check, had already garnered 3.1 million views.

Announcing Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems! (free video series) ✏📚 Join the Kennedy Center Education Artist-in-Residence at Home as Mo Willems invites YOU into his studio every weekday at 1 p.m. Eastern Time to draw, doodle and explore new ways of writing—starting today! #MoLunchDoodles Learn more ⤵ kennedy-center.org/education/mo-willems

Posted by The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on Monday, March 16, 2020

Needless to say, Mo’s got some real fans out there.

“When I became the Kennedy Center Education Artist-in-Residence, I didn’t realize the most impactful word in that title would be ‘residence,'” Willems said in the Kennedy Center announcement. “With millions of learners attempting to grow and educate themselves in new circumstances, I have decided to invite everyone into my studio once a day for the next few weeks.

“Grab some paper and pencils, pens, or crayons. We are going to doodle together."

Have a question for Willems? Send it to LUNCHDOODLES@kennedy-center.org and he just might be able to answer.

Never heard of Willems? Here are five books to start with:

  • “Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs: As Retold by Mo Willems” (not your average Goldilocks, just so you know!)
  • “That Is Not A Good Idea”
  • “Knuffle Bunny” (there are three in this series, the final one will make you cry).
  • “The Duckling Gets a Cookie?!”
  • “There is a Bird On Your Head”

So, we might be self-quarantined, but this is just another way to still get in on National Reading Month and share your love of stories and picture books -- adults and children alike.


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