A new offering of guaranteed laughs from three-time Caldecott-honoree Willems.
From the cover to the cast credits to the title page, the story presents itself as a movie in book form, observed not only by readers, but by a gaggle of excitable goslings. The action begins when a dapper fox and a plump goose meet—successfully establishing the field of a traditional tale. Dialogue between the characters, showcased as ornately framed white text against a page-filling black background, harkens back to the design of silent films. Double-page spreads picture an increasing number of goslings gazing out at readers and admonishing, “That is NOT a good idea!” as the wide-eyed goose follows the fox from the city to his home in the woods. The goslings’ antics grow progressively frantic—and hilarious—as their warnings increase in intensity. The climax proves that appearances can be deceiving, as the anticipated conclusion is turned on its head. Using signature bold lines, Willems’ illustrations are as satisfyingly expressive and comic as his previous work featuring fowl (his pigeon makes a cameo appearance here, though not an obvious one). Exceptionally observant readers may anticipate the twist, but that won’t spoil the enjoyment of this fun-loving fractured fable. Minimal text makes this book ideal for read-alouds and discussions of fable and fairy-tale motifs.
Pure glee. (Picture book. 3-8)