Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Gerda Muller

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This delicately illustrated version of this tale, first published in France, removes some of the familiar oppositions (too hard, too soft, just right) found in earlier versions and gives the heroine a contemporary backstory (she lives in a traveling circus caravan). The charm of the book lies primarily in Muller’s detailed illustrations, which are set against tan backgrounds and include an inviting fairy tale woods dotted with wildflowers and a rustic abode for the bears (beehives outside are echoed by bee-themed bed linens within, and the family’s three chairs have bear-shaped headrests). The story’s size motif is emphasized both textually and in the art, with big, medium, and small objects appearing throughout—mice, piggy banks, umbrellas, and more (they are even color-coordinated to a degree: green for Daddy Bear, blue for Mummy Bear, and yellow for Baby Bear). Although upset, the honey-loving bears are quite polite in the face of home intrusion (“They weren’t mean bears, they were just unhappy”), taking the time to educate a fleeing Goldilocks on the importance of knocking first—a lesson she takes to heart. Ages 3–up. (Dec.)
School Library Journal
PreS-K—In this retelling of the well-known story, flowers just right for picking beckon a golden-haired child from a traveling circus family into a nearby forest. Wandering off the path, she discovers a quaint, thatched-roof house and decides to explore, and the familiar pattern of three chairs, three bowls of porridge, three beds, and the arrival of three bears comes into play. At story's end, readers find the usual happy ending, with an awakened Goldilocks slipping out the door and heading home—with hopes that Little Bear will get an extra portion of porridge for his dinner. Children will delight in Muller's spreads, which depict the rustic house with its chair backs shaped like heads of bears, rope-tied pine furniture, umbrellas with bear heads, and bee-patterned quilts on the beds. The flowers Goldilocks picked follow her through the pages; then, in an effective image on the book's back cover, Baby Bear is seen happily arranging the left-behind posies in a bright-red mug. Libraries needing a new "Goldilocks" tale will find this one an appealing choice.—Barbara Elleman, Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst, MA
Kirkus Reviews
Another "Goldilocks"? Yes, with a fresh take, unusual setting and appealing illustrations. Goldilocks' parents work in a circus. One evening, the caravan stops at the edge of a big forest. A path leads the girl into the woods, where she picks a bouquet of pretty flowers, but then she can't find the path to go back. In tears, she finds herself in a clearing where there's a funny house. She goes in, but no one is home. She tries the usual threesomes of chairs, porridge and beds. The bears return home to find her asleep in Baby Bear's bed. Startled, she grabs her shoes and runs outside. Daddy Bear shouts after her, "Don't you know to knock first if a door is closed?" Goldilocks finds the path to the caravan and from then on "always remembered to knock first." The engaging illustrations of Goldilocks in her vivid red sweater and polka-dot skirt are painted on ecru paper, adding a woodsy flavor. Textured details such as the wooden, bear-shaped chairs, umbrellas with carved bear heads, bee patterns on the bedspreads and three-little-pig piggy banks enhance the whimsy. Even the white splotch under Mama Bear's chin suggests a fuzzy necklace. The artwork, a cross between Paul Galdone's version (1985) and Emma Chichester Clark's (2010), makes this a charming version you can't bear to be without. (Picture book/fairy tale. 3-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780863157950
  • Publisher: Floris Books
  • Publication date: 1/28/2011
  • Pages: 1
  • Product dimensions: 10.11 (w) x 8.54 (h) x 0.41 (d)

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