November 22, 2017

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That Is NOT a Good Idea! | SLJ DVD Review

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redstarThat Is NOT a Good Idea! 7 min. Dist. by Weston Woods. 2015. $59.95. ISBN 9780545879323.That Is NOT a Good Idea!

PreS-Gr 3 –It’s not often that a video translation of a picture book actually surpasses the excellence of the source material, but that is the case with this offering from Mo Willems. The depiction of the narrative as if it is an old movie is more apparent, beginning with a baby goose comically struggling to pull down a movie screen. The scratches, black-and-white countdown, and title cards that characterize a silent film follow. It’s not until a narrator introduces our stars that the palette turns to color, highlighting the nefarious Hungry Fox and the hapless Plump Goose. Ragtime piano accompanies the action as the two set out on their stroll in the forest, though a gosling warns Goose that the stroll is not a good idea. This version adds an intricately rendered village background with a bridge and additional wide-eyed characters. Fox’s menacing nature is enhanced by his evil laugh and leer. The naïveté of big-eyed Goose is conveyed by her exaggeratedly voiced eagerness to accompany the Fox and by her flirtatious laughter. When the players have moved to Wolf’s kitchen, he struggles with his pot of water for soup as the warnings of the chicks become more emphatic and their antics more amusing. Postdenouement, as the credits roll, Plump Goose shuts off the projector as her babies line up with spoons to enjoy their soup, now containing a missing ingredient. A supplemental short film by Trixie Willems, the author’s daughter, introduces the many people on “Team Mo” who worked together to create this excellent film. VERDICT Visual and audio elements combine perfectly to enhance this deliciously silly story that has a satisfying twist, sure to entertain the most sated audience.–Constance Dickerson, Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library, OH

This review was published in the School Library Journal February 2016 issue.

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