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.
This new take on a fairy-tale classic is so funny and so original—it could only come from the brilliant mind of Mo Willems.
*Starred Review* This is Willems' first attempt at retelling a classic fairy tale and, if the endpapers are any indication, he might have struggled a bit at first. Red marks through such options as "Goldilocks and the Three Clams" and "Goldilocks and the Three Orthodontists" eventually give way to the ideal trio: Papa Dinosaur, Mama Dinosaur, and "some other Dinosaur who happened to be visiting from Norway." After they randomly set up three beds, three chairs, and three bowls of chocolate pudding, the dinosaurs head out to "someplace else" and hope "that no innocent little succulent child happens by." Cue "poorly supervised" Goldilocks, who blithely barges in and helps herself to all the amenities awaiting her, until the pending danger finally dawns on her and she bolts, which causes the returning, hungry dinos to rue the fact they forgot to lock the backdoor. The book's masterful line art and muted color palette contain untold expressions, perspectives, and jokes, and the text dryly emanates irony, wit, and wonderful words like traipsing and groggy. 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. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: With three Caldecott Honor Books to his name—plus zillions of fans—Willems is children's book royalty. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.
Publishers Weekly Reviews
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.)
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