Text copyright © 2019 by Mo Willems. Illustrations copyright © 2019 by Amber Ren. Images reproduced with permission of the publisher, Hyperion Books for Children an imprint of Disney Book Group.

For Elementary Readers

Because

Celebrate the arts and creativity with this ode to the many people that inspire and contribute to bringing music to life.

Apply in the Classroom

Mo Willems dedicates Because to the memory of Charles M. Schultz, who greatly inspired and influenced him. Schultz was his because—because Willems loved reading Shultz’s “Peanuts” comics and then drawing them himself, Willems began his journey to becoming a beloved children’s author. When you read aloud Because, plan to introduce students to who and what inspired those around them. Share your own Because moments with students and invite other special guests to do the same. Seek out and celebrate Because moments in your community from:

  • your school! You, your principal, P.E. teacher, or school nurse
  • your community! A local politician, musician, artist, doctor, park ranger, farmer, banker, or author
  • your students! Parents, extended family members, and even students who’ve been inspired and found direction thanks to another.

Questions for Discussion or Reflective Writing

What does the word “because” mean?

The girl learned everything she could about music “because it fed her.” What does that mean?

What do you think happens to the person that was “changed” at the premiere of “The Cold?”

Is there something you love as much as the girl in Because loves music? Describe your passion.

Who or what inspired your interest in something that you love?

Related Teaching Resources

Watch: The Story of the Story of Because

Listen to The Cold

Six New Narrative Picture Books for Your Mentor Text Basket from Two Writing Teachers

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