a good idea!
It’s pretty well known at this point that picture book author/illustrator Mo Willems rarely hits a wrong note with his stories. His characters, from Knuffle Bunny to Pigeon, have become childhood favourites, and he never seems to run out of unique but incredibly reader-friendly ideas. That is NOT a Good Idea! is no exception.
The book is a riff on both old silent movies, and the fairytale familiarity of a big bad wolf (here presented as the sort of sly, charming villain one might have seen in an old black-and-white silent). Mo Willems alternates between scenes of the wolf trying to lure an innocent chicken to her doom, and scenes of hilarious chicks in the audience—caught up in the movie, and shouting warnings at the screen the way one wants to when a movie’s protagonist is clearly making the wrong choices . . . right up until the clever surprise ending (not a huge surprise for adults, but preschoolers will be in fits of giggles).
His artwork is spot-on, from the text presented in the style of “narration cards” just like the silent movies used, to the colourful, cartoony, exaggerated pictures.