Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs
New York: Balzer and Bray, 2012.
Rejoice! There is a new Mo Willems book out. More rejoicing!! It’s a fractured fairy tale!!
I have written before about how in these parts, we check out a stack of the same fairy tale from the library each week, each book with a different telling and illustrator. We read ’em all, and compare and contrast tellings and illustrators’ styles and language and quality.
Even more fun is following them up with a fractured version of the canon: The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig is a particular favourite.
Well, now we’ve got a Mo Willems volume to add to our collection of funny spin-offs, and it’s fabulous. He pokes fun at the absurd premises of the story:
One day for no particular reason, the three Dinosaurs made up their beds, positioned their chairs just so, and cooked three bowls of delicious chocolate pudding at varying temperatures.
The three Dinosaurs went Someplace Else and were definitely not hiding in the woods waiting for an unsuspecting kid to come by.
The more you can ham this stuff up, the better. My kids ate it up. He aims his humour at kids and at adults, and provides not one, but TWO morals of the story.
My kids delighted in the wry humour and the sly references to the chocolate-filled kid that the dinosaurs were looking forward to eating. Also sly are several guest appearances of Willems’s Pigeon, who somehow manages to steal the scene even if he his half-hidden.
And because we’ve read several of James Marshall’s fairy tales, we (“we”) were able to spot right away the homage to Marshall in the font used for Goldilocks.
I cannot recommend Mo Willems highly enough. I don’t think we’ve ever read a book of his that we did not love. If you are already a fan, check out this latest venture. If you are new to Willems, do check out a few books. The Elephant and Piggie books are wonderful for beginner readers, and for picture book fans, there’s the delightful Knuffle Bunny trilogy.
It’s a happy day when a new Mo Willems comes into the house. Hope you have happy days, too.