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Mo Willems: Writing for kids same as for adults

16th February 2010

Children's author Mo Willems has insisted that he does not write his books specifically for kids, instead aiming for a 'silly' audience.

In an interview with the Houston Chronicle, The Pigeon Finds a Hotdog author explained that there is no fundamental difference between writing for children and adults, as both groups want emotional and funny stories.

However, he admitted that children lack the cultural references that are common among adults, so it would be pointless to mention landmarks such as the Arc de Triomphe or events like the Watergate scandal in kids' literature.

'You have to write the most basic, bare-bones funny. It has to be true. It has to come from an emotional place - jealousy, anger, joy - as opposed to a cultural place,' Willems told the newspaper.

The author added that he is not sorry to have given up writing comedy for adults, as it requires too much effort in keeping up to date with pop culture and celebrity scandals.

Willems has written almost 30 books which are popular with children, including Knuffle Bunny, There is a Bird on Your Head, Today I Will Fly and Leonardo the Terrible Monster.

© W&G Foyle Ltd
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