Thursday, May 15, 2014

That is Not a Good Idea! Gets 4.5 Stars

That is Not a Good Idea by Mo Willems is another fun book by this Pigeon series author.  This book review has several lesson plan/ideas.  It's fun book and has a surprise/twist ending.  However, 6 year olds are the youngest I think; contrary to the 4 year old information from the publisher. .  Alohamora Open a Book

That is Not a Good Idea! by Mo Willems is a fun picture book with a surprising twist.  I love Mo Willems and almost all of his books (though I don't love his latest Pigeon Needs a Bath book).  They are simple, have beautiful drawings and unique story lines, and they are all around great picture books.  I consider Willems to be one of the best writers, and I think it's doubly cool that he illustrates everything.  

I gave That is Not a Good idea! 4.5 out of 5 stars.  I loved the pictures and simplicity, but the Silent Movie layout (where you only here the baby chicks talking) could be a bit confusing at first, especially for the younger students.  I absolutely loved the surprise ending.  The twist at the end was not what I was expecting at first, but it was fun.  There were a few things that took away from a perfect 5 star book, but all in all this is a great book. 

With that said, I would most definitely rethink the ages for this book.  The publisher has this book for 4- 8 years.  However, I think 4 is a bit young, especially b/c of the twist at the end.  I would say a 6 year old at the youngest could enjoy this book, but a child up to 12 could really enjoy it including the format as well as story line.

Lesson plan/ideas for this book: 

  • Younger grades (1-2) you could do a lesson on predicting.  You could have the students make predictions what is going to happen next from the pictures/text previously.  Really using the pictures since the pictures in this book are exaggerated for the "silent movie" type of book.   I would do a brief predicting of almost every page or every other page with my class or reading group..
  • Older grades (3-6) could do a lesson on inference.  With the twist at the end the students will be surprised at what they inferred from the clues they were given. 
  • All grades could really discuss what a silent movie is, reread the book to again see the silent movie format and how Willems makes it work (big and obvious facial features).  The students could then attempt a writing and art assignment where they use the pictures/illustrations and the words (from an audience member) to really tell the story. 
To get a better idea for storyline here's a book review from Amazon

"If anyone is going to pull off a picture book built on the conventions of old-time silent movies—exaggerated facial expressions, telling body language, and, of course, blacked-out dialogue pages cut into the story—it would be Willems. The setup is classic dastardly villain and innocent naïf, as a three-piece-suited, top-hatted, grinning fox catches the eye of a sweet, old babushka-wearing duck. Dinner! He asks if she’d like to go for a stroll in the deep, dark forest to his kitchen, where he’s making a pot of soup that’s missing only one last ingredient. At each step of the way, an increasingly frantic litter of chicks warns That is really, really, really, really not a good idea! By the time the story reaches its peak, you can practically hear the Wurlitzer throbbing, and kids will be squirming with tense glee, primed for a classic Willems gotcha that turns the whole thing on its head for the poor, unsuspecting fox. A quick, crowd-pleasing lark that should be a hit at group storytime. High-Demand Backstory:" 

That is Not a Good Idea by Mo WIllems is not a book for a young sensitive child.  However, it'll keep the older children more involved and alert to the story and it's plot.  

Have you read That is Not a Good Idea?  What did you think? 

This book reminded me a bit of Mo Willems' Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs. It's a classic fairy tale, but there are twists and differences make for a great purchase/read.  

Happy fun and surprising ending 


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