'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday 5 July 2013

Review: Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs

Mo Willems, Goldilocks and dinosaurs. Woohoo! what a combination.

I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you the story. According to my quick internet search, The Story of the Three Bears was first written down in the early 1800s.

So, what would the legendary Mo Willems do with the famous Goldilocks?

Mo Willems has delivered the quirkiest Three Bears plot yet. It’s not porridge, it’s chocolate pudding. Goldilocks doesn’t sit on any of the three chairs, because they’re all too tall. The bears dinosaurs aren’t really going for a walk. They’re hiding in the forest, waiting to see who will enter their tempting house. Oh, and one of the dinosaurs is just visiting from Norway.

In the classic Three Bears tale, the bears are usually the goodies and Goldilocks is the naughty, intruding baddie. In this story, the roles are reversed.

This book was a pleasure to read and I love a picture book that asks the reader to be clever. The themes are mature, so will require an advanced picture book reader to pick up the implied meaning. ‘The three dinosaurs went Someplace Else and were definitely not hiding in the woods waiting for an unsuspecting child to come by.’

The menacing threat of the dinosaurs (peering through the windows and lying in wait for Goldilocks) shocked my small dinosaur loving reader. Usually dinosaurs in picture books are portrayed as quite friendly, so this was a bit of an eye-opener. We don't mind being shocked, but it was a definite surprise.

As we know, one purpose of fairy tales is to explain and warn children about the dangers in the world. and Mo Willems is probably one of few authors clever enough to finish a book with a moral disguised as humour. The moral for Three Dinosaurs is simply ‘Lock the back door!’

Title: Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs
Author/Illustrator: Mo Willems
Publisher: Walker Books, $24.95 RRP
Publication Date: 1 July 2013
Format: Hard cover
ISBN: 9781406347296
For ages: 3+
Type: Picture Book