Our latest BLG book brought in by Deborah was Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems. Well, to say that we are Mo Willems fans in our classroom is a bit of an understatement. In fact upon realizing that this book was a Willems book, a definite hush fell over the room. Students were wide eyed and attentive. When someone spotted a pigeon in the cookie jar in the second full page spread, well . . . The magic of Mo Willems descended (“That’s a sneaky one,” muttered one little guy) and nobody dared look away for fear of missing a hidden pigeon on a subsequent page.
Willems brings a new twist to an old tale putting his humorous and silly stamp on the Goldilocks story. In his version, it is three scheming dinosaurs who leave their home to go “someplace else.” (Note to readers – you might think you see dinosaurs hiding in the woods spying on Goldi but that would just be your imagination). This Goldilocks is a little bit more than presumptuous. She is downright spunky. And while on the one hand, she appears to have very little sense (just how much chocolate pudding should one girl eat?), eventually she does discover that she isn’t in the safest of places and that she had better escape and quick. In the meantime she comes across some very tall and uninviting chairs (“There’s feets on those chairs!” one of the children noticed) and a number of clues that this house she happened upon might not be the safest of places. We particularly liked the door mat that said, “Wipe your talons.”
Willems’ illustrations are so much fun. We really get the sense of Goldilocks’ size relative to all of this extra large furniture and home accessories. She can practically take a swim in the chocolate pudding bowls! “She’s tiny. That’s why everything is big,” someone explained. “Nope,” argued another student. “Those dinos are just gigantic.“
Students were sympathetic to the dinosaurs’ failed plans. “The little one was crying,” someone observed. “I saw a little tear.” We also really liked the morals at the end of the story – one for Goldilocks (and the rest of us without predatory natures) and one for the dinosaurs.
Student reviewers respond:
Gracie: My favourite part was when she ate all of the bowls of chocolate pudding. And why did the dinos want to eat Goldilocks so badly? I liked that Goldilocks.
Kevin: I like when we found the pigeon eye in the cookie jar. My favourite part was when Goldilocks fell into the chocolate pudding. I’m thinking the dinos will make a trap. I think in the the next book the dinos will eat Goldilocks.
Arianne: When I saw the pigeon, it was my favourite. I was thinking about the author. I like him!
Brian: My favourite part was when we found the pigeon. It was my very best part.
Vicky: My favourite part was when we found the pigeon. Goldilocks ran out to the back door. I was thinking of Piggie and Gerald when I listened. Where do you get these books Deborah?
Kassidy: I like when the chairs was too tall! When Goldilocks ate the chocolate pudding it was silly when she fell in!
Ashley: I liked Goldilocks and the three Dinosaurs. My favourite author is Mo Willems and he does funny books. We saw the pigeon in this book and I like that book!
Heman: My favourite part was when Goldilocks fell in the chocolate pudding. I liked it when we found the pigeon in the cookies. I thought the dinosaurs will make a trap. Why are the pigeons only in some pages? I wonder why Goldilocks went in the dinosaurs’ house? Why didn’t the dinosaurs eat Goldilocks under the tree?
Kala: I wonder why she sneaked in the house. It was funny when she went in the chocolate pudding.
Giovanni: My favourite part was that the chairs were too tall. Why did the dinosaurs arrive too late?.
Kelvin: My favourite part was Goldilocks eats the chocolate pudding. The dinos made a trap to eat Goldilocks. The dinosaurs opened the front door and jumped in at Goldilocks. In the book, there were some pigeons in the pages.
Andrew: When we found the pigeon it was my favourite. Goldilocks went in the Dinosaurs’ home. I was thinking the dinosaurs will make a trap. Why are the pigeons in some pages? Why was Goldilocks too small to go on Daddy, Mommy and little Dinosaur’s chairs?
Mo Willems and an original twist on a favourite tale. It couldn’t get better! If you have not read this book yet, race out and find it! (Just keep your eye out for lurking dinosaurs who may be a little peckish)