That is NOT a Good Idea!


That Is NOT a Good Idea! is a 2013 children's picture book written and illustrated by Mo Willems. First published by Balzer + Bray, it is about a plump fowl that meets a fox, and is persuaded to follow the fox to its house in the woods, all the while being observed, as if on a movie screen, by a group of young birds that regularly shout the title words.

In 2015, Weston Woods released a film adaptation of the book, with ragtime music by Lucas Elliot Eberl, and animated by Pete List. It won the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Children's Videos in 2016.


That is NOT a good idea! has been reviewed by a number of publications, including The Horn Book Magazine,[1] Kirkus Reviews,[2] and Publishers Weekly.[3]


  • 2014 Bank Street CBC Best Children's Book of the Year (Five to Nine) - Outstanding Merit[4]
  • 2014 CCBC Choice[5]
  • 2014 Cream of the Crop List[6]
  • 2014 Irma Black Award - winner[7]


  • Children's literature portal
  1. ^ "That Is NOT a Good Idea! (starred review of video)". The Horn Book. Media Source. February 2016. Retrieved April 11, 2017. Visual and audio elements combine perfectly to enhance this deliciously silly story that has a satisfying twist, sure to entertain the most sated audience.
  2. ^ "That is NOT a good idea!". Kirkus Media LLC. March 6, 2013. Retrieved April 11, 2017. 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.
  3. ^ "That Is Not a Good Idea! (starred review and PW pick)". Publishers Weekly. PWxyz LLC. February 25, 2013. Retrieved April 11, 2017.
  4. ^ "Best Children's Books of the Year Five to Nine 2014 Edition: Fiction - Humor" (PDF). Bank Street College of Education. Retrieved April 11, 2017.
  5. ^ Kathleen T. Horning, Merri V. Lindgren, Megan Schliesman (1997). CCBC Choices 2014: Picture Books for School-Age Children (PDF). Friends of the CCBC Inc. p. 68. Retrieved April 11, 2017.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  6. ^ "2014 List of Cream of the Crop for Children's and Young Adult Literature". Main State Library. 2014. Retrieved April 13, 2017.
  7. ^ "Past Winners: 2014 Winners". Bank Street College of Education. Retrieved April 11, 2017.