- Craig Graziano
In That is Not a Good Idea! Mo Willems takes the art of silent films and applies it to picture books. A dapper fox has spied a beautiful goose walking the city streets. Each image is devoid of text, we only see what they are saying on black pages in between the action.
"Excuse me. Would you care to go for a stroll?" inquires the fox as he tips his hat. Suddenly, the film is interrupted. "That is NOT a good idea!" exclaims a baby goose.
It is often considered rude to yell out in the middle of a movie. Something tells me this gosling and his siblings have a good reason to, though I can't imagine why. Our pair continues, and the fox invites his goose guest to dine with him.
"That is really, really NOT a good idea!" cries another bird. These interruptions are the only voice of reason in this courtship that seems destined toward tragedy as well as a poultry dinner. Kids will have as much fun yelling out the warnings as they have telling the pigeon not to ride the bus.
The pictures are colorful and funny. Each of the six goslings has a bit of personality drawn in, from a bow tie on one to an eggshell helmet on another. Aside from the visuals, the sheer suspense of it all is hilarious. I can imagine reading it out loud with a gasp after every exchange between our two film stars.
What happens to our fair lady goose? You will have to find out for yourself. I am certainly not telling. It would NOT be a good idea to spoil a perfectly good picture book.