Author/Illustrator: Mo Willems
Age Group: 2-5
Synopsis: A fun twist on a old classic, has Goldilocks lured into a dinosaur home, climbing ladders, eating pudding, and displaying a new sort of common sense.
The Low Down:
We haven’t gone dinosaur crazy at our house. Yet. We’re more of a dragon sort of family and dinosaurs are welcome but there weren’t a lot of books for me to choose from when KidLit Picks suggested dinosaurs for the month. The few I had, I’d already reviewed and other issues arose with the few others that fell into my hands. However, my sister was quick to suggest this story and while we’ve enjoyed a few of Mo Willems’ Pigeon books, I hadn’t yet cracked this beauty open. It’s right up our alley though with a humorous story, hilarious side notes to the reader, and illustrations that take every joke a step farther.
I’m not going to explain the plot of Goldilocks. If you don’t know it, you can hobble along with us or jump over to Wikipedia for a quick briefing on the subject. Onward! Willems switches a good deal of things around. Baby Bear is replaced by a Norwegian exchange student dinosaur and porridge is replaced by the far more delectable chocolate pudding. The dinosaurs then “accidentally” leave their door open, delicious chocolate pudding cooling on the enormously tall counter, a ladder next to the counter, hide out waiting and watching in the woods. Or as Willems would phrase it they go Somewhere Else and most definitely do not sit and wait for their trap to be sprung. Willems’ interludes about Goldilocks continues to amuse with comments regarding not only her ability to listen to good sense but lack of self-control. However, in a strange moment of clarity she notices that she’s in a dinosaur home and makes a break for it out the very unlocked back door. Much to the dinosaurs’ dismay.
Willems’ illustrations are fun and littered with Easter eggs, indulging dedicated fans and anyone with a sharp eye. He obliviously enjoyed illustrating this book and it’s hard for that not to translate to the reader. From a Papa Dinosaur with a pencil thin mustache to a calendar sporting that Norway is the gateway to Sweden (something that would have my Scandinavian cousins gasping in horror), it’s not only fun to turn the page and find new tidbits but almost impossible not to want to. The cartoony sort-of feel keeps littler ones engaged and also adds to the overall amusement of the story.
The story might as well be a canvas for Willems to display all of his wit through use of word and illustration. Whether by design or fate it’s a book that will not only be a delight for little ones but will be a delight for parents to read again and again. Truly making it just right.
- Pigeon is not only in the cookie jar in the kitchen but also in a picture frame in the house. It makes one wonder how he’s made it this far without being eaten. Maybe he’s a pen pal. Or maybe dinosaurs don’t find birds tasty.
- The endpapers are super cute. Check out both sides.
- Keep an eye out for the details throughout the book. They’re sure to delight.
- Reading this story with a heavy dose of sarcasm in your voice will only add to the experience.
I need more!
We know Mo Willems mostly for his Pigeon books: Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, Don’t Let Pigeon Stay Up Late, etc. He also has a great line of books featuring Piggie and Elephant. For more great Mo Willems selections check out his website: http://mowillemsstuff.blogspot.de/search/label/books and of course your local library.
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