Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs: As Retold by Mo Willems

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Overview

Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs is a new take on the fairy-tale classic Goldilocks and the Three Bears, so funny and so original—it could only come from the brilliant mind of Mo Willems.

Once upon a time, there were three hungry Dinosaurs: Papa Dinosaur, Mama Dinosaur . . . and a Dinosaur who happened to be visiting from Norway.

One day—for no particular reason—they decided to tidy up their house, make the beds, and prepare pudding of ...

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Overview

Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs is a new take on the fairy-tale classic Goldilocks and the Three Bears, so funny and so original—it could only come from the brilliant mind of Mo Willems.

Once upon a time, there were three hungry Dinosaurs: Papa Dinosaur, Mama Dinosaur . . . and a Dinosaur who happened to be visiting from Norway.

One day—for no particular reason—they decided to tidy up their house, make the beds, and prepare pudding of varying temperatures. And then—for no particular reason—they decided to go . . . someplace else. They were definitely not setting a trap for some succulent, unsupervised little girl.

Definitely not!

Supports the Common Core State Standards.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this sly sendup, Goldilocks (who could be a cousin of Knuffle Bunny’s Trixie) ventures into the home of three diabolical dinosaurs. Having cooked up three bowls of chocolate pudding and arranged their house “just so,” the two olive-green T. rexes and smaller brown dino lick their lips and make comments suggestive of a plot (“I sure hope no innocent little succulent child happens by our unlocked home”), while the mock-naïve narration declares their innocence. They are “definitely not hiding in the woods,” peeking fiendishly from the treetops, as “a poorly supervised little girl named Goldilocks came traipsing along.” Goldilocks doesn’t hesitate to enter the dinos’ house or stick her whole head in their food (“who cares about temperature when you’ve got a big bowl of chocolate pudding? Not her”), and she wises up just in time to give herself, if not the dinosaurs, a happy ending. With a sense of irony (and humor) as sharp as this dinosaur trio’s talons, Willems’s retelling is a sure bet for audiences who have moved beyond more gently witty fare. Ages 3–7. Agent: Marcia Wernick, Wernick & Pratt. (Sept.)
Booklist (starred review)
“Willems has delivered his very best work so far—this is a tasty treat for kids already fluent with the original, and for any fan of funny, and everybody will want to read it again and again and again.”
Horn Book (starred review)
“On every page, the text winks broadly at readers, first pointing to and then playing with conventions of folklore, narrative voice, literary foreshadowing, and plain old common sense.”
Boston Globe
“Mo Willems is to our era what Margaret Wise Brown was a half century ago…. Like Brown, Willems has his finger on the pulse of what interests children most. His books are simple, not simplistic; they are clever, witty, various, and surprising.”
Horn Book
"On every page, the text winks broadly at readers, first pointing to and then playing with conventions of folklore, narrative voice, literary foreshadowing, and plain old common sense."
Booklist
"Willems has delivered his very best work so far—this is a tasty treat for kids already fluent with the original, and for any fan of funny, and everybody will want to read it again and again and again."
Boston Globe
“Mo Willems is to our era what Margaret Wise Brown was a half century ago…. Like Brown, Willems has his finger on the pulse of what interests children most. His books are simple, not simplistic; they are clever, witty, various, and surprising.”
Booklist (starred review)
“Willems has delivered his very best work so far—this is a tasty treat for kids already fluent with the original, and for any fan of funny, and everybody will want to read it again and again and again.”
Horn Book (starred review)
“On every page, the text winks broadly at readers, first pointing to and then playing with conventions of folklore, narrative voice, literary foreshadowing, and plain old common sense.”
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Knowledge of the original Goldilocks story is really necessary to appreciate the clever fun Willems has with this parody. Here, "once upon a time," there are, instead of bears, three Dinosaurs: Papa Dinosaur, Mama Dinosaur, "and some other Dinosaur who happened to be visiting from Norway." One day, "for no particular reason," the Dinosaurs cook and go "someplace," consciously leaving their door open for some "succulent" child to arrive as they wait nearby. Along comes "poorly supervised" Goldilocks, barging in. Smelling the prepared chocolate pudding, she climbs a conveniently placed ladder. Her experiences with the three bowls of pudding, chairs, and beds differ somewhat from the traditional story. As the Dinosaurs wait patiently for the chocolate-filled girl to go to sleep, Goldilocks comes to her senses and runs away through the back door. Two amusing morals close the story. The cartoon-y characters are flat figures set on a toy-like stage with the essential props: bowls, beds, and chairs. The anthropomorphic villains are comic rather than frightening; Goldilocks is puzzled at first but finally enlightenment leads to her rapid retreat. The end pages are covered with over 100 possible titles for the tale, of which all but one have been crossed out: "Goldilocks and the Three Salmon," or "...Meatballs" just don't make it. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3—This zany addition to the fractured-fairy-tale canon features a yellow-haired Goldilocks in a pink dress and three dinosaurs-Papa, Mama, and "some other Dinosaur who happened to be visiting from Norway." Arising one morning, the dinosaurs cook their chocolate pudding "at varying temperatures" and intentionally leave the pudding bowls out to lure "a little succulent child" into their home. Goldilocks, being a heedless little girl who "never listened to warnings about the dangers of barging into strange, enormous houses," does just that and proceeds to stuff herself with the dinosaurs' bait-er, chocolate pudding. Tired and sleepy, she finds the bedroom but-uh, oh!-overhears the dinosaurs outside gloating, "Delicious chocolate-filled-little-girl-bonbons are yummier when they're asleep!" Suddenly realizing that she's in the wrong story, Goldilocks beats a hasty retreat just as the three dinosaurs return licking their lips-and happily finds her way into the right story with the three bears on the last page. This is pure Mo Willems, from the many visual gags in the cleanly drawn illustrations and the tight, tongue-in-cheek story line to the endpapers, decorated with dozens of hilarious crossed-out title possibilities. The book's generous trim size, varied illustrative perspectives, and dramatic text lend this title perfectly to a lively group read-aloud; pair it with a traditional version of Goldilocks and the Three Bears to discuss differences and similarities. Readers of all ages will find much to chuckle about in this wacky retelling.—Kathleen Finn, St. Francis Xavier School, Winooski, VT
Kirkus Reviews
A hilariously fractured fairy tale. The structure's well-known, so the endpapers list myriad permutations, almost all crossed out: Goldilocks and the Three Clams? Three Ostriches? Three Glasses of Milk? Nope, it's Dinosaurs: Papa, Mama and one Dinosaur "who happened to be visiting from Norway." Details are tasty--chocolate pudding instead of porridge; a different furniture riff ("The first chair was too tall. The second chair was too tall. But the third chair-- [page turn] --WAS TOO TALL"). Even funnier are the obviously fraudulent protestations. Child-friendly irony lets readers giggle knowingly as Mama Dinosaur muses, "I SURE HOPE NO INNOCENT LITTLE SUCCULENT CHILD HAPPENS BY OUR UNLOCKED HOME WHILE WE ARE…uhhh…SOMEPLACE ELSE!" They're "definitely not hiding in the woods waiting for an unsuspecting kid"; pudding sits unattended to enable the creation of "delicious chocolate-filled-little-girl-bonbons (which, by the way, are totally not the favorite things in the whole world for hungry Dinosaurs)." Winking, the text places readers gleefully in the know--and Goldilocks is no patsy either. Willems' trademark cartoon-style illustrations include sly eyebrows, sardonic glances and a fabulous picture of Goldilocks inside a pudding bowl. When she's beyond satiated, her pupils dilate--enormous, then tiny--subtly nodding to the old tale's "too big, too small" theme. Top-notch for group storytime, for a project on revising classics or just for enjoyment; funniest for kids who know the original. (Fractured fairy tale. 5-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062104182
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/4/2012
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 49,095
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.98 (w) x 11.06 (h) x 0.49 (d)

Meet the Author

Mo Willems

Mo Willems knows a Good Idea when he sees one. A three-time Caldecott Honor winner (for Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, Knuffle Bunny, and Knuffle Bunny Too), he also won two Geisel Medals and two Geisel Honors for his Elephant and Piggie books. His books are perennial New York Times bestsellers, including Knuffle Bunny Free, Hooray for Amanda & Her Alligator!, and the Cat the Cat series. Before he turned to making picture books, Mo was a writer and animator on Sesame Street, where he won six Emmys. Mo lives with his family in Massachusetts.

Mo Willems knows a Good Idea when he sees one. A three-time Caldecott Honor winner (for Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, Knuffle Bunny, and Knuffle Bunny Too), he also won two Geisel Medals and two Geisel Honors for his Elephant and Piggie books. His books are perennial New York Times bestsellers, including Knuffle Bunny Free, Hooray for Amanda & Her Alligator!, and the Cat the Cat series. Before he turned to making picture books, Mo was a writer and animator on Sesame Street, where he won six Emmys. Mo lives with his family in Massachusetts.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 18, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A witty twist on the classic fairytale

    In this original and hilarious book, Mo Williams uses the same premise of the Goldilocks and the Three Bears fairytale, but adds a sarcastic bite, that will make parents laugh and children giggle. Once again, Goldilocks wanders through the woods and stumbles upon an unlocked house where inside she finds three bowls of pudding, three chairs, and three beds. But the loud and plotting dinosaurs determined to have a child snack give themselves away and Goldilocks realizes that something is not quite right about this fairytale.
    Filled with wit and Shrek type humor, Mo Williams provides a fun new take on a fairy-tale classic. As an added bonus the illustrations add more comedy, like the “.2 miles to trap” sign along the wooded path, the drastic facial expression of Goldilocks, and the mustache of Papa Dinosaur.
    Recommended for readers age 3-7.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted February 15, 2013

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