Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems
Here is a picture book that had both my eight-year-old and my three-year-old giggling, looking at it on their own, and asking for it to be read aloud over and over again. In characteristic Willems style, he narrates the familiar story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears with a twist. Papa Dinosaur, Mama Dinosaur, and the small dinosaur who just happens to be visiting from Norway make delicious chocolate pudding in three temperatures and leave the house with the door open, just as a “poorly supervised” little girl named Goldilocks happens to come walking by. One might hear the sound of dinosaurs laughing as she follows the signs to the house –but really, that would be terribly unlikely. Chocolate-filled little girls are dinosaurs’ favorite treats, but Goldilocks keeps falling into one obvious trap after another. Will she escape in time??? This could have the potential to become scary, except that it’s told in such a campy way. It’s easy to root for both our fellow human and for the dinosaurs, who after all, are only taking advantage of an exceptionally rude and potentially stupid person. Really, after all the damage Goldilocks did to those poor friendly bears, too. The endpapers all feature crossed-out suggestions for titles: Goldilocks and the Three Musketeers or Goldilocks and the Three Accountants, all so funny that my children made me read them all aloud and then went back and puzzled them out again. Preschoolers through younger elementary kids who are familiar with the original are the natural audience for this, as well as adults who appreciate a good snarky tale.
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