Thursday, February 19, 2009

The 3 Bears and Goldilocks by Margaret Willey

I recommend this book for: age 4-6

A kind of bland retelling. Not enough is different from the traditional tale to make it stand out, and there isn't much sense of place (other than the first page stating that she lived "in the farthest reaches of the far north"). The pictures do a lot to characterize Goldilocks - for example, she's always losing things and helpful forest creatures are cleaning up after her. However, some of the illustrations are confusing - the one where she flees the bear's house features 6 bears, 4 little girls, and two of the same bird carrying her scarf. The bear's house is relatively interesting - less humanized than one might expect from bears who eat porridge, the floor is covered in fish bones and the beds are made of pine needles and feathers covered in a blanket. Far from wanting to eat Goldilocks, they are angry at the meddling in their home but feel sorry for the furless, clawless creature they find asleep in Baby Bear's bed. That doesn't stop her from running home as fast as she can! The moral of this version seems to be "listen to your parents", but I'm not sure kids would grasp it.  Overall, it seems to be lacking in kid-appeal, which means it only gets a so-so rating from me.  

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