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That Is Not a Good Idea!
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That Is Not a Good Idea!

4.20  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,955 Ratings  ·  671 Reviews
One day a very hungry fox meets a very plump goose. A dinner invitation is offered.

Will dinner go as planned? Or do the dinner plans involve a secret ingredient...?

(Don't forget to listen to the baby geese!)
Hardcover, 42 pages
Published April 23rd 2013 by Balzer + Bray
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Journey by Aaron BeckerThe Day the Crayons Quit by Drew DaywaltThe Dark by Lemony SnicketFlora and the Flamingo by Molly IdleMr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter  Brown
2014 Mock Caldecott
9th out of 80 books — 221 voters
The Dark by Lemony SnicketThat Is Not a Good Idea! by Mo WillemsUnicorn Thinks He's Pretty Great by Bob SheaFlora and the Flamingo by Molly IdleExclamation Mark by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Most Anticipated Picture Books of 2013
2nd out of 99 books — 112 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jul 06, 2015 Carmen rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Kids; Parents
Recommended to Carmen by: NY Times Book Review
"Would you like to continue our walk into the deep, dark woods?"

A dapper, fox in a Victorian suit meets a peasant-duck on the street. His eyes light up. He invites her to take a walk with him. The sweet duck blushingly accepts. On every page, the story gets more intense as the fox has another suggestion leading closer and closer to the end children know is coming.

After every question:

"Would you care to boil some water for soup?"

And the duck's innocent answer

"Certainly. I do love soup!"

A Greek ch
Jun 28, 2013 midnightfaerie rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
Another winner from Willems! An easy and funny story with a small twist at the end that had my children delighted, it's a book that we'll probably be reading again. Already the names Mo Willems and David Shannon are becoming popular in our house. My 5 yr old and 2 yr old twins are asking constantly to reserve all the boooks by these authors from the library and I can't get them fast enough. I have 97 books out right now (one of those is actually a box of farming children's books but considered 1 ...more
Jul 31, 2013 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
We are big fans of the Elephant and Piggie series, so we get very excited when we discover a new book written by Mo Willems.

This is an entertaining story that follows the style of silent movies (a concept that I had to explain to our girls or else the charm would've been absolutely lost on them.) The story is dramatic, in the villain-preying-on-the-helpless-female kind of way, which is one of the main themes I've seen in silent movies.

The illustrations are colorful and cartoonish, and the goos
Benji Martin
Apr 24, 2013 Benji Martin rated it it was amazing
And he does it again! This just came in the mail this afternoon. I've been patiently waiting for it to come out for months. I opened it, I read it, I loved it. Thinking that maybe I tend to like a book more just because Mo Willems is stamped on the front, I got a group of students passing through the library to read it, and they all left grinning. So, now I'm wondering, does Mo Willems have piles and piles of bad, mediocre, or even kind of good books lying around unpublished? Everything he relea ...more
Super clever and a wonderful silent movie/theater style, just not as great for repeat readings.
Sep 14, 2013 Ronyell rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Mo Willems Fans!!!

Mo Willems is truly a pro when it comes to writing children’s books! His previous books Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale and Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs were true masterpieces in their own right and now I have the pleasure of reading his most recent children’s book “That is NOT a Good Idea!”

One day, a hungry fox meets up with a female goose and he invites the goose to dinner! At the same time, there is a group of baby chicks who are warning the goose
One day a fox and a goose see each other across the street. [Yup, the goose and the fox are in a street...and they have clothes and other things that personify them. And the fox is dressed in a dapper suit that makes he seem like the sort that gets his way, a lot. And the goose only has a kerchief tied on her head and a basket. Totally giving off the "peasant" look.] So they see each other and the pages cut to black with some words…reminiscent of an old silent film’s black screen with the text p ...more
Oct 13, 2014 Kristine rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
This was the book being given as an ARC at ALA in Las Vegas this summer where I MET MO WILLEMS!!!

He was the only/author illustrator that I almost hyperventilated :/ by the time I got to the front of the line it was all I had in me to eek out, "I don't know who's a bigger fan, my daughter or I." and he asked how old she was I told him 9, and he said, "well, keep on reading and see who comes out on top."

He just gets art, and kids, and human emotion, and all the things that make picture books perf
Jan 05, 2015 Jessica rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
When I first saw this I thought, Ugh, what is with the weird art? It looks like some crappy book from the 1980's! (I'm allowed to say that, because I grew up in the 1980's, and we had some crappy picture books. Trust me.)

Then I read it.

And laughed and laughed.

There is a good reason why this looks like one of the moralizing, good-for-young-people, picture books of yore. A very good reason. A hilarious reason. The book is clever and fun and my kids think it's a hoot. What more could you ask?
Jun 25, 2013 Lauren rated it really liked it
If it's wrong to be a 25 year old, unmarried, childless adult, and to have a favorite children's author, than I don't want to be right. This is an excellent "read aloud" book. I personally like to read it with an 20's radio announcer's voice, while singing dramatic piano music before turning the page (a la silent films).
Oct 13, 2014 Heidi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: preschool
I think this book is awesome and my kids love it! Not only are the pictures amazing, but the story is fun. In this day and age, it's shocking to kids to see a book end the way this one does (and we can't sing the "squishing up my baby bumble bee" version of the song anymore, either). But it teaches a good lesson as well as a truth. Once again, doing voices is what makes this book so fun. I have kids who, hours later, will still be walking around saying to themselves in an extremely high pitched ...more
A wonderful twist on every fox-and-the-duck story you ever read...with a Greek Chorus...actual a Duckling Chorus.

The fox, an oily, sly fellow, lures the duck for a walk, and then for a visit to his home, then to lunch...a lunch of soup...All the while, the Chorus is chanting, "This is NOT a good idea...This is really not a good idea...this is really really not a good idea..."

And then the wonderful twist at the end!!

Willems is a new favorite...his work is funny and sassy...just what kids (and ve
Dec 13, 2013 Kathryn rated it really liked it
Very humorous little cautionary tale. Love Mo Willems! Love the expressive illustrations--his characters have such personality. The silent movie format for the dialogue was fun.

Knowing Willems' style I figured there would be a "twist" and I guessed most of the ending. I admit the very end made me cringe just a little but it is no worse than many folk takes / fairy tales children devour.
Oct 05, 2013 Sara rated it it was amazing
Seriously, what can't Mo Willems do? This book is hilarious and morbid, and PERFECT for preschool story time because of the opportunity for participation (I had 78 preschoolers and their parents all yelling, "THAT IS REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY NOT A GOOD IDEA!" by the end). I thought it first it might be a bit too morbid, but apparently Olympia preschoolers eat morbid for breakfast.
May 22, 2013 Dianna rated it it was amazing
My six-year-old son loves this book. He is a good reader, but he prefers to read pages without much text, and this book delivers. Also, it's funny, and it's by his favorite author.

Immediately upon finishing this book, he wrote his second letter to Mo Willems.

Carole Roman
Jun 22, 2013 Carole Roman rated it it was amazing
I love Mo Willems. Not only does a deliver, his books arrive with a great story, humor, and a good lesson as well. I don't want to give the ending away, but a parent should read it alone and decide if it's appropriate for their youngster. There is lots of room for discussion afterwards. Mo Willems you are a treasure!
May 27, 2013 Jocelin rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
Another great one from Mo Willems. The story is really hilarious; it's presented as an old timey film. Mo Willems has such a great sense of humor. His humor transcends both young and mature audiences alike. Absolutely loved the ending.
Coley Polizzi
Nov 12, 2015 Coley Polizzi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wow-books
Oh Mo Willems, you’ve done it again. This glorious picture book has set the standard for many. Meet Mr. Fox. He is dapper. He is fancy. He is appealing to all especially one lady duck. He inquires whether or not she would like to accompany him to a nice supper. The coy lady duck agrees; however, there is a raucous chorus of dismay from her chicks claiming “That’s not a good Idea”. Despite the ensemble of adorable chicks, the duck makes her way towards the cunning Mr. Fox’s house. What transpires ...more
Jan 30, 2015 Chris rated it it was amazing

I think Mya would enjoy this fabulous fiction book and here’s why:
That Is Not a Good Idea by Mo Willems is listed for children 4 to 8 years or K-3rd (primary) by Books in Print. Although Mya is a 4th grader, this book is an attention-grabber which intermediate children will enjoy, as well. Doing a read aloud with this book would capture what it’s intended to do, entertain all ages!
Reasons I selected this book for Mya:
• She enjoys humorous books and this one is very funny because of the plot twis
Dec 21, 2014 Laurie rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 13, 2014 Nick rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-lit
Target Audience: Pre K-2

This book provides very basic right and wrong decisions in life and both the fox and the goose need to be weary of such decisions. A fox runs into a goose on the sidewalk and the fox thinks to himself "Dinner!" He tricks the goose into going with him and the goose ends up at his house. Between each decision made, little chicks warn that it is not a good idea! What does the fox intend to do to the goose and why does the goose keep listening to the fox?

Christen Tulli
Jul 27, 2014 Christen Tulli rated it liked it
Shelves: edsl520
Category: Beginning Reader Picture Book

Publication date: 2012

Annotation is posted above via GoodReads


Ways to Use Book:
Told in the style of an old-fashioned silent film, Mo Willems's That is NOT a Good Idea! tells the story of a sly fox who has a dastardly plan for a sweet goose. He lures her by tipping his top hat and taking her on a stroll. Immediately, baby chicks start to pop up screeching, "That is NOT a good idea!" Then, the fox asks if he can take her through the dark woods,
Apr 22, 2014 Kelly rated it really liked it
That Is NOT a Good Idea! by Mo Willems is a nominee for the 2014-15 South Carolina Picture Book Award.

Fans of Mo Willems will find yet another book to love in That Is NOT a Good Idea! This charming picture book, which gives a nod to silent films, introduces readers to a hungry fox and a plump goose. It appears that the fox is luring the goose back to his lair so that he can "have her for dinner." All the while, baby chicks interject with "That is not a good idea!"

While we assume that the chicks
Haley Caudell
Feb 04, 2014 Haley Caudell rated it really liked it
That Is Not a Good Idea! by Mo Willems is a story about a fox and duck. This story resembles that of Little Red Riding Hood and The Three Little Pigs. Like these others, That Is Not a Good Idea! demonstrates the fear of strangers and potential danger. But, what separates this from the others is its demonstration of two predators. I found it really interesting because through the entire story, the reader expects the wolf to eat the duck. But, at the end, you realize the duck is just as much of a ...more
Brooke Leone
Feb 15, 2015 Brooke Leone rated it liked it
This book tells the story of a fox and a goose that go into the woods to make some soup. All along the way, the book is interrupted by little chicks that keep saying "That is really not a good idea!" and at the end we see that the chicks were the kids of the goose and were actually talking to the fox who was thrown into the soup.

I did not like this book as much as I have others. The book is set up so that the text was on all black pages. Some of the illustrations would come through spots on thes
Lauren Rhodes
Apr 22, 2015 Lauren Rhodes rated it liked it
Recommends it for: All ages
Literature Requirement 2015 Monarch Winner
Mo Willems presents That Is Not a Good Idea! is lovely saga chronicling the meeting of a Fox and a goose. The fox has ulterior motives and has a sinister plan up his sleeve and intends to trap and cook the "unsuspecting" goose. However, the goose is not as innocent as she seems. This book reads like an old timey silent picture with colorful pictures combined with title cards with phrases such as "What luck!"and "Sounds fun!". The goose's children inject
Kathleen Dixon
Mar 15, 2015 Kathleen Dixon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
We read this last year - just one of the many children's books that I forgot to write up here! James and Zenobia both though the ending hilarious, but I can't say anything without spoiling it for new readers. Suffice it to say that there's a delightful twist.

James wasn't so bothered about reading it today - he remembered it from last year and already knew the ending. Zenobia, on the other hand, thought it was splendid already knowing the ending - she was 'in on the joke' and found that a great p
Jul 16, 2014 Kaethe rated it it was amazing
An updated version ofThe Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck without the dog hero, but with a chorus of hatchlings full of warnings. And, it's depicted as a silent movie with cards for dialogue. Loved it.

Library copy

(Now that the Offspring are 14 and 11 they rarely ask me to read aloud (although I did get called upon to read some of Leviathan last night, which was awesome). Nonetheless, when I bring home a stack of picture books from the library, they both read them and remark on the ones that work best
I respect people with popular things who continue to try new things. Keep it up, Mo. Also, dude, you got me with this one. Well played.

The silent movie text pages work. I like the exaggeration of the chicks. At the end I actually said "oh no" out loud before seeing that's just what one of the characters said. If that's not good dialogue, you probably wouldn't enjoy a conversation with me.

Younger kids will undoubtedly check this out and enjoy it, but 2-4th is a great place for this to live in tha
Rachel Atwood
This is a very simple and creative story. The illustrations mirror that of a silent movie, which is very clever and adds a twist to the story. The pages with words are in black and white and the pages with pictures are in color. The illustrations along with the text do a wonderful job building a bit of suspense about what is going to happen. This story takes a fun twist off predator prey roles. You go through the story thinking that the fox will end up eating the goose then find out that the sto ...more
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That Is Not a Good Idea! by Mo Willems 1 16 May 29, 2013 03:29PM  
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#1 New York Times Bestselling author and illustrator Mo Willems is best known for his Caldecott Honor winning picture books Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus and Knuffle Bunny: a cautionary tale.

In addition to such picture books as Leonardo the Terrible Monster, Edwina the Dinosaur Who Didn’t Know She Was Extinct, and Time to Pee, Mo has created the Elephant and Piggie books, a series of early r
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