Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Creative story telling and a very funny story
The Bottom Line:
The Goose and the Fox
In picture book comedy
That thrills first time through
Reading This Book is a Great Idea!
Mo Willems is a genius. There really is no other way to describe it. The man can take pictures and simple dialog and tell a story that is funny and entertaining for all ages. That’s exactly what he’s done with That Is Not a Good Idea!
This book is presented a bit like an old silent movie. We see some pictures with dialog on a different page. It tells the story of a Fox who spies a Goose and invites her to go for a walk. There are some chicks who are commenting on the progression as it goes along, kind of like a Greek Chorus, warning that "This is not a good idea." The warnings increase as the Goose goes further and further with the Fox. Are they right?
Really, this is a book you need to read to truly get. While some two page spreads might be all dialog (one sentence each), the next page will have a picture on it. And, while I said it resembles a silent movie, don't worry - the picture are in color.
The first time I read it, I was a little concerned about exactly where this book was going. Then I got to the end. I started laughing so hard; it was wonderful. Just from saying there's a twist you might figure it out, but that's okay. The execution still makes this book fun no matter how many times you read it.
And that's one of the beauties of Mo Willems's books. He throws in some great surprises, but the humor of the book still works even when you know what is coming.
I'm been using my niece (and now my nephew) as an excuse to explore picture books again, and I'm glad I have them. That Is Not a Good Idea! is fun no matter what your age. Don't miss it.