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Sunday, June 2, 2013

That Is NOT a Good Idea! Written and illustrated by Mo Willems. Balzer & Bray, Harper. 2013. $19.99 ages 3 and up

"Would you care
to continue our walk
into the deep,
dark woods?"

"Sounds fun!"

a good idea!"

A close look at the cover will have readers making assumptions about the fate of the naive goose who, in all innocence, is enamored of the attentions of a smooth and dapper fox flashing pearly white teeth and offering up a lovely daisy. The tiny goslings watching the show have an admonition for the two: That is NOT a Good Idea!

If you know Mo Willems' work, you will anticipate with great pleasure the chance to share his humor and storytelling ability. Opening the cover allows readers a look at the players who have a role in this parody of the silent film genre. The fox is hungry, the goose is plump and the geese are tiny. I guess that is all we need to know.

When the fox and goose lay eyes on each other, there is an instant connection. Turn the page and full black backgrounds offer the only words needed to begin the tale. On one page: What luck! On the facing page: Dinner! So, when the fox offers a companionable stroll, we are not surprised that the sweet cheeked goose is delighted to accept. One tiny gosling proffers advice: That is NOT a good idea!

Each suggestion made by the fox becomes more alarming. The Goose accepts without question, and the tiny geese become ever more frantic with their admonitions. The warning is issued many times, the advice not taken and in the end, readers will feel great satisfaction in the outcome. Oh, and a modicum of hilarity as well!

Mo Willems never disappoints! I am constantly asked to share his books, and it's always such a treat. Be on the lookout for Pigeon who has a minor cameo role.

Bravo, Mr. Willems...another winning production!

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