Review: Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs

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cover 'Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs' by Mo WilliamsHow does Mo Willems do it? Book after brilliant book. Knuffle Bunny, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, and on and on. It’s unlikely you’ll be disappointed with a Mo Willems book.

At first glance I thought Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs was going to be a simple retelling of the Three Bears stories with Dinosaurs inserted. In a sense it is, but the story goes far beyond that.

The three Dinosaurs are not naive like the three bears, they don’t unwittingly leave their house like the Three Bears do. Every step is planned. The goal is to entice a child into the house so they can eat her.

They make three gigantic bowls of chocolate pudding, tidy up the house and leave the door unlocked. What little girl could resist, especially a little girl who doesn’t listen to anyone.

Just as Goldilocks is drawn into the house, we, the readers, are drawn into the story: “Once upon a time there were three hungry dinosaurs: Papa Dinosaur, Mama Dinosaur, and some other Dinosaur who happened to be visiting from Norway.” Maybe you are not curious about this “other Dinosaur who happened to be visiting from Norway, but I am.

Perhaps the best part of the book is the illustrations. Mama Dinosaur has purple hair. Papa Dinosaur has a mustache. The visiting Dinosaur just looks funny. Then there is all the humor hidden in the background art, which is likely have you paging through the book a second and maybe third time just to look for anything you might have missed. While you’re at it, have your child take a look at the end-papers, they could send a young imagination soaring.

Of course I could tell you what happens to Goldilocks, but I don’t want to spoil the surprise

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