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That Is Not a Good Idea! Hardcover – April 23, 2013


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That Is Not a Good Idea! + The Day the Crayons Quit + The Book with No Pictures
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 230L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Balzer + Bray; First Edition edition (April 23, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062203096
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062203090
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 0.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,011 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

How Ideas Become Good Ideas: A Note from Mo

The first step to figuring out a story is your characters. And with each book, I go through hundreds of sketches that aren’t used. Here are a few that I did in the early stages of That Is Not a Good Idea! for Hungry Fox, Plump Goose, and the Baby Geese.

Purple Fox
Purple Fox: After I have a sense of a story and their characters, I start to make test sketches. It's my hope that the technique (the brushes, pencils, markers, or crayons) will give me an insight into who the characters really are.

Baby Geese
Baby Geese: This process goes on for a while (sometimes weeks, sometimes months). Even the character stylings that don't work help. The covering-the-eye pose from this test was used in the final book, even though the characters look completely different.

Goodwolf
Goodwolf Sketch: We use butcher-paper as our tablecloth, so that our family can doodle every night after dinner. (You can see some examples on the Mo Willems Doodles blog.) All of the characters seem to have taken over this night's dinner (I saved the drawing for later reference).
Test Background
Test Background: Once the characters started to come into focus, it was time to go through the same process with the backgrounds...

From Booklist

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. Preschool-Grade 1. --Ian Chipman

More About the Author

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Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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#21 Overall (See top 100 authors)
#21 in Books
#21 in Books

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Customer Reviews

Great book for kids AND adults.
Khefner
My kids apparently had read this book before I ever did, and they had a great time waiting for me to get to the 'punch line'.
L. Yilmaz
This is a delightful story with wonderful illustrations and a great twist at the end.
Jan C. Myers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By speechteech on April 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mo Willems has a great reputation to uphold. "How could another book be as good as Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!"? But, you'll be glad to know that I (and my students) think that it is just as good or better than DLTPDTB.
The curve-ball this book throws at you catches you by surprise. In fact, after the last page, my group said, "Let's read it again, because now we GET IT!"
The silent movie reference took a little explaining, but it enhanced the suspense because it helped them understand 'why the baby geese couldn't just help out'. On the second read-through, they cackled aloud as every page gave up it's mystery to them.
Mo, you are OK with my class. They thoroughly approve.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Shirley J. Miller on June 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I received this book, skimmed through it, and decided I was disappointed in it. However, when my 4 year old granddaughter spent the night, I decided to read it to her before bed. She LOVED it. I think we read it 5 times that night, with her chiming in on the "Not a good idea" pages. I guess it appeals more to little ones than grandmas. Anyway, I am happy I bought it, because she certainly enjoyed it.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By James N Simpson on June 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover
That Is Not a Good Idea! is a great idea for a choice of picture book to read to a group of kids as it is interactive and a nice spin on the traditional fairy tales involving wolves they will no doubt already be familiar with. It is also importantly adult friendly, so adults will enjoy turning the pages as much as the kids. The picture book is well illustrated, even though it is a homage to the old black and white pre talkie silent film era, the illustrations are done in colour. I don't think most kids would realise it is a homage to the silent film era so probably wouldn't have enjoyed it as much if Willems had gone with black and white. Although perhaps he could release a black and white version for adult collectors or something, there would probably be a smaller market for it. The illustrations are cartoon style similar to the Elephant and Piggie series and other work by Willems.

The basic plot revolves around a bunch of chicks sitting in a movie theatre watching a film. A male wolf and female goose spot each other while walking down the street. They are immediately interested in each other and decide to go for a stroll with the wolf asking the goose questions such as "Would you care to continue our walk into the deep, dark woods?" It appears to the viewers (chicks) in the cinema that the wolf is luring the goose to become its dinner and like any group of friends watching a horror movie, these chicks yell at the goose for its seemingly beyond belief stupid actions with variations of "that is really not a good idea!" But have the chicks watched one too many horror movies that is blinding them to what is really happening? The story visually switches between the audience and the on the screen action. The on screen action includes the silent era film style words on the screen for when someone talks. It's a fun book where if being read to an audience, children will love joining in with the chicks, as you read the film to them that is playing in the cinema.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Catherine Nichols on May 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Taking his inspiration from the silent film era, Mo Willems has crafted another winner. His latest picture book is set up to resemble a silent movie with the wolf cast in the role of villain. Playing the leading lady--make that leading bird--is a seemingly sweet, trusting goose. Spread by spread, the wolf tempts her nearer and nearer to his home in the woods. The journey is interrupted at regular intervals by a chorus of goslings who warn at increasingly higher and higher decibels that their hookup is not a good idea. But whom exactly are they warning?

As always, Willems knows how to pace a suspenseful tale, and his bold illustrations, especially those which highlight his character's expressive faces, add to the unfolding drama. Young readers might be savvy enough to see the twist that lies ahead--but this mature reader certainty didn't!
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24 of 34 people found the following review helpful By SeaVille on May 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Always love Mo Willems books, but this one is very different than the others. My 3 1/2 year old daughter had an expression of horror on her face when we read this book (the ending, basically). It was not a fun read at all. My daughter received this book as a gift, so I feel bad getting rid of it, but I do not plan to read it to her again. This book is too dark for young kids. I am truly surprised at the number of 5 star reviews.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By HannaH Rose on August 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mo Willems continues to confuse, amuse and impress. A great way to teach "stranger danger," but that surprise ending...well, that's another story altogether...sort of...
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Khefner on April 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great book for kids AND adults. Mo Willems gave another great story! We laughed so hard and our three year old son did as well.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By clf on November 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was going to give this as a gift for a four-year-old but decided to donate it to the public library instead. The drawings are good, but the ending is kind of creepy. The ducks make the wolf into a soup and eat it!
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