Every so often we check out a book from the library that I just love. I always mean to share these books with you, and sometimes I even remember. Today is one of those remembering days. It only took us checking out the book a second time from the library. And the book? Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems.
Now I will be the first to admit that I run hot and cold on Mo Willems' books. I adore Knuffle Bunny (the first one, not so fond of the sequels) and Edwina, the Dinosaur Who Didn't Know She was Extinct, but I really don't like the books about the pigeon. (Collective gasp... I know I'm the only one.) I do love the Goldilocks book. It makes me laugh out loud and who doesn't want to read a book that makes them laugh?
It is the rare book that both parents and children can find equally amusing. I find that if the book elicits chuckles from the adults, the humor is completely missed by the children. (The humor is often far too snide for my taste as well.) And there are many books that children find hilarious that adults suffer through because their children love them. I believe that this Goldilocks book manages to appeal to everyone.
In short, the plot is just what you would think from the title. There are three dinosaurs and there is Goldilocks. There are bowls and chairs and beds. And there is a nice plot twist to alleviate the been-there-done-that aspect that traditional fairy tales can sometimes have. But the best part, other than the chocolate pudding, in my opinion is the moral at the end, which is... if you are in the wrong story, leave.
This fits so nicely in with some of my discoveries about story telling and fairy tales I wrote about a year ago. (How Pictures Work and Story Telling [Here are the links to the books mentioned in them in case you are interested: How Pictures Work; The Boy Who Would Be a Helicopter]) Essentially, story telling (and fairy tales) allow children to experiment with scary scenarios in a safe way. The beauty of this experimenting is that stories can be changed and altered. This altering of told stories also gives us practice for altering our real life stories. Of course, some aspects of our lives can't be changed; we're stuck with them whether we want to be or not. But there are other things that can be changed... our attitudes, our actions, our internal story telling.
I realize that's a lot to lay on a simple picture book, but sometimes we forgot the power that stories have. And when they're really funny as well, what's not to like?