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1st ed.
Publisher, Date:
New York, NY : Balzer + Bray, c2013.
[42] p. : col. ill. ; 25 cm.
A surprising lesson about the importance of listening to one's inner gosling ensues when a very hungry fox issues a dinner invitation to a very plump goose.
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A surprising lesson about the importance of listening to one's inner gosling ensues when a very hungry fox issues a dinner invitation to a very plump goose. - (Baker & Taylor)

A surprising lesson about the importance of listening to one's inner gosling ensues when a very hungry fox issues a dinner invitation to a very plump goose. By the Caldecott Honor-winning creator of Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! 200,000 first printing. - (Baker & Taylor)

That Is Not a Good Idea! is a hilarious, interactive picture book from bestselling author and illustrator Mo Willems, the creator of books likeDon’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, the Knuffle Bunny series, the Elephant and Piggie series,Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs, and many other new classics.
Inspired by the evil villains and innocent damsels of silent movies, Willems tells the tale of a hungry fox who invites a plump goose to dinner. As with the beloved Pigeon books, kids will be calling out the signature refrain and begging for repeated readings. The funny details in the full-color illustrations by three-time Caldecott Honoree Mo Willems will bring nonstop laughter to story time.


Trade Reviews

Booklist Reviews

If anyone is going to pull off a picture book built on the conventions of old-time silent movies—exaggerated facial expressions, telling body language, and, of course, blacked-out dialogue pages cut into the story—it would be Willems. The setup is classic dastardly villain and innocent naïf, as a three-piece-suited, top-hatted, grinning fox catches the eye of a sweet, old babushka-wearing duck. Dinner! He asks if she'd like to go for a stroll in the deep, dark forest to his kitchen, where he's making a pot of soup that's missing only one last ingredient. At each step of the way, an increasingly frantic litter of chicks warns That is really, really, really, really not a good idea! By the time the story reaches its peak, you can practically hear the Wurlitzer throbbing, and kids will be squirming with tense glee, primed for a classic Willems gotcha that turns the whole thing on its head for the poor, unsuspecting fox. A quick, crowd-pleasing lark that should be a hit at group storytime. High-Demand Backstory: Willems, Willems Willems! And as much as everyone loves Elephant and Piggie, fans will be pleased to have a new offering in a picture-book format. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews

All charm, Mr. Fox asks an innocent goose to critique his soup. Five times the fox cajoles; five times the goose responds, while a Greek chorus of goslings repeatedly warns, "That is NOT a good idea!" The (distinctly unexpected) denouement comes with a flourish in this trifecta of reading possibilities: an energetic storytime, a read-alone, and a raucous readers' theater.

Horn Book Magazine Reviews

"What's for dinner?" is the nightly question heard around the world. But if one is a member of the hunting set, the answer involves more than ordering a pizza. When Mr. Fox spies an innocent goose, it appears his problem is solved. All charm, he asks her to go for a walk, visit his kitchen, and critique his soup. These scenes play out like a silent movie, with all conversation between the two shown in title frames (white text against black background) on one page and action in full-bleed illustrations on the facing one. Five times the smarmy fox cajoles; five times the coy goose responds. Interspersed between each sequence is a double-page Greek chorus of frenetic goslings warning, "That is NOT a good idea!" As the fox lures the goose into his lair and closer and closer to his cook pot, Willems increases the goslings' hysteria, at each step adding one more to the chorus and another "really" until by story's climax the chorus is shouting: "That is REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, REALLY NOT a good idea!" The (distinctly unexpected) denouement comes with a flourish, here a fowl line imitating the Rockettes, gosling-style. There's a trifecta of reading possibilities here: an energetic storytime, a read-alone, and a raucous readers' theater. betty carter

Publishers Weekly Reviews

Willems, whose Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs also operated on a balance of threat and humor, models this suspenseful picture book after a silent movie. The sequence concerns a dastardly villain, played by a smirking fox in a top hat, and an ingenue, played by a coy duck in a blue headscarf. The fox invites the sweet-looking duck "for a stroll." When she agrees, he asks, "Would you care to continue our walk into the deep, dark woods?" "Sounds fun!" she answers. Each time the duck accepts the fox's invitations, an increasingly alarmed audience of six yellow peeps pops up to shout some version of the title: "That is not a good idea!" This being a Willems vehicle, a sudden twist reveals which character the peeps have been addressing all along. Cinematic conventions, like neatly framed white-on-black intertitles and gauzy iris-eye close-ups of the eyelash-batting heroine, join allusions to classics like "Henny Penny," Rosie's Walk, and perhaps even Mighty Mouse. Trust Willems to blend silents, animation, and comics for a wickedly droll poultry-in-peril yarn. Ages 4–8. Agent: Marcia Wernick, Wernick & Pratt. (Apr.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC

School Library Journal Reviews

K-Gr 3—This charmer is lovingly composed as an homage to silent movies and the concept of picture books as the "theater of the lap." Readers will become totally involved as they watch, along with several chicks, a drama unfolding, certain to end in tragedy. A gentlemanly fox and a demure, peasantlike goose meet. The setting is an old European city reminiscent of Budapest or Amsterdam, replete with fin de siècle gas lamps, stone-arch bridges, and wrought-iron terraces, executed in signature matte hues and strong lines (the chicks, though, are bright yellow). Heightened expressions dramatize their meeting, and it is desire at first sight. "What luck! Dinner!" reads the ornate intertitle (white type on a black background) on the following spread. In this way, the well-mannered fox proposes a series of formal invitations, "Would you care to…," leading the goose step-by-step into his "nearby kitchen." It is a study in pacing. Each time the goose accepts, "Hmm…sure!"; "Sounds fun!" again via intertitles, the action stops and the baby geese cry out (and flap) more and more trepidatiously: "That is NOT a good idea!" Young listeners will get involved and cry out, too. The wily goose's actions, defying common sense, arrive at an absolutely unexpected and riotous surprise ending. Children and adults will relish being taken for such a thrilling, suspenseful ride again and again.—Sara Lissa Paulson, The American Sign Language and English Lower School, New York City

[Page 146]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Flap Cover Text

One day, a very hungry fox meets a very plump goose.

A dinner invitation is offered.

Will dinner go as planned? Or do the dinner plans involve a secret ingredient . . . ?

(Don't forget to listen to the baby geese!)

From the brilliant mind of Mo Willems comes a surprising lesson about listening to your inner gosling.


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