Friday, 23 May 2014

Picture Book Review – Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs – Mo Willems

Picture Book Review – Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs – Mo Willems

Suitable for Toddlers/Younger Readers

I’m having trouble thinking of how to start off this review. Perhaps the easiest way is to say I can’t imagine how anything will top this in 2014. It’s my favourite book that Mo Willems has ever written, and that’s saying something. I always laugh during his works, but this tops all of them. The randomness of half the text, the absurdity of it all, and taking a well known tale like Goldilocks and turning it on its head in such a funny way is fantastic.

‘Once upon a time, there were three Dinosaurs: Papa Dinosaur, Mama Dinosaur and some other Dinosaur who happened to be visiting from Norway.’ And so begins the unorthodox tale of how Goldilocks stumbled upon the home of some dinosaurs, not bears. I don’t think I’ll ever come across a better opening sentence. I wish I could write down all the sentences, because every single one is a joy, but that would spoil the fun of reading it.

I laughed, and I laughed, and I laughed all the way through. I’m not sure if I can actually read this at a storytime as I think I’ll be laughing too much to myself all the way through. The self-referential humour, acknowledging the dinosaurs plans whilst pretending they’re going for an innocent walk, and the way the ‘wind’ sounds eerily like dinosaurs plotting, or rock’s falling, or a squirrel…I can’t do it enough justice. It’s up there with some of the greatest comedy writing in any medium, anywhere, ever. People should be quoting this as much as they quote Anchorman.

The illustrations are as delightful as ever, with Mo Willems’ easily recognisable style complimenting the cartoon feel of the story as well as they ever do. It’s all hilarious from start to finish. I’m flicking back and forth through the pages as I’m writing this, and I’m laughing again and again. Honestly, this is better than 99% of comedy shows out there at the moment. Whoever thinks that picture books are just for children is missing out.

An easy entry into the World of Children’s Books Hall of Fame. I honestly feel that if you don’t read this, you’re missing out on one of the funniest things you could ever read in life. Make sure you do.

10/10 and an entry into the Picture Book Hall of Fame

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