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

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  7,076 ratings  ·  851 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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Jul 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Laid out in the format of a silent movie, this story tells of a conniving fox and a little duck spending time together. The audience (ducklings) announce how bad the various ideas become as things become more precarious for our feathered protagonist. Neo liked the 'picture only' and 'words only' pages, but does not think he would like a movie done like this.
Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen)
This is dark comedy for preschoolers and it’s hilarious??

(small fry thinks this is genuinely the funniest book we’ve read together and I don’t think I can disagree?)

(But also like this duck straight up murders someone and feeds him to her children so like.... maybe not for the sensitive child...)
Jul 06, 2015 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 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 03, 2013 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 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
Jan 05, 2015 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?
Apr 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
2013: 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.

Super clever and a wonderful silent movie/theater style, just not as great for repeat readings.
Sep 14, 2013 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 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
Jun 25, 2013 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).
Chance Lee
Dec 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
I loved the art style of this one: the book is illustrated as if it were a silent movie. I encouraged the kids to help me by saying "that is really, really, really, really not a good idea!" We counted the reallys. Even the adults chimed in. Two of the parents were really surprised by the ending, and one of them was very amused by it. Fun story that works on multiple levels.
Oct 13, 2014 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
Oct 05, 2013 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.
Oct 20, 2017 rated it liked it
I did not like this book because I do not like foxes. I enjoyed this book because I like ducks (I think I probably listened to the baby geese).

Review Update: I also enjoyed this book because I liked the part when the duck pushed the fox into the soup (I knew that the fox was thinking about putting the duck inside instead).
Carole P. Roman
Jun 22, 2013 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!
Feb 19, 2013 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.
May 27, 2013 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.
Shawn Deal
Jan 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s
A classic tale of chicken versus wolf. However, not everything is what it seems and warnings are given. Told with fun and merriment like most of Mo Willems work. Another cute and funny story.
Jul 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Loved the silent movie-style layout and surprise ending. Clever and fun!
Dec 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Westminster Library
Mo Willems is at his finest with this one. Most good picture books have some sort of twist ending and even though you suspect that is the case with this one, the book is so well written and illustrated that you are caught off guard. I especially like the fact that this book is a cautionary tale for readers young and old.

Find That is Not a Good Idea! at the Westminster Public Library!
Oct 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Probably not a book to read over and over, but a fun read aloud. Can't say much about the book without spoiling it, but I didn't see it coming, so definitely 5 stars for surprising the adult. Kids all asked me to read it again immediately since they now knew the ending.
Melissa Bennrup
Aug 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: alex
Another great offering from Mo Willems, with a twist the children will love.
Eduardo Baskervill
Dec 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another winner from Mo Willems. This cute, funny story will teach you about trust and judging others. Silent movie fans will enjoy the style this book takes.
Goshen PL Childrens
Read for Storytime, April 18, 2017
Theme: Funny Stories

The kids like saying along with the chicks, "That's not a good idea!". The adults liked the twist. Another fun read from Mo Willems.
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Just loved this one! Don't want to say anything else in fear of giving something away. Just read it!
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That Is Not a Good Idea! by Mo Willems 1 16 May 29, 2013 03:29PM  
  • Count the Monkeys
  • Have You Seen My New Blue Socks?
  • Crankee Doodle
  • Open This Little Book
  • Carnivores
  • Brief Thief
  • Mr. Tiger Goes Wild
  • Unicorn Thinks He's Pretty Great
  • Lucky Ducklings
  • The Black Rabbit
  • Exclamation Mark
  • It's a Tiger!
  • Sophie's Squash
  • Mother Bruce
  • Again!
  • Ribbit!
  • The Watermelon Seed
  • Battle Bunny
#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