Goldilocks and the Three Bears: A Tale Moderne

Goldilocks and the Three Bears: A Tale Moderne

by Steven Guarnaccia
     
 

When she discovers the three bears’ house in the woods, Goldilocks ventures in and makes herself at home. According to tradition, she sits in the chairs, samples the meal laid on the table, and takes a nap. Yet something is different in this retelling of the classic story of the girl with golden locks.

Though our heroine is the same, our bears certainly are

Overview

When she discovers the three bears’ house in the woods, Goldilocks ventures in and makes herself at home. According to tradition, she sits in the chairs, samples the meal laid on the table, and takes a nap. Yet something is different in this retelling of the classic story of the girl with golden locks.

Though our heroine is the same, our bears certainly are not. These bears are hip; they have a sense of style and a love of design. Their split-level home is filled with furnishings created by an international crowd of celebrated designers, from Alvar Aalto to Charles and Ray Eames to Isamu Noguchi.

Children will delight in this long-beloved story given new life by Steven Guarnaccia’s stylized artwork—and may even pick up a design tip or two.

F&P Level: N
F&P Genre: TL

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This companion to Guarnaccia's The Three Little Pigs: An Architectural Tale recasts the three bears as hipsters living in a cottage filled with 20th-century design icons. Papa Bear's chair is a Charles Rennie Mackintosh ladderback ("hard as a rock"), Mama Bear's is an Arne Jacobsen "Egg" chair ("way too soft"), and Baby Bear's is an Eames brothers creation ("but just as she was getting cozy, the chair broke into pieces"). (These and other furnishings appear and are defined on the endpapers.) Goldilocks finds chili on the table instead of porridge, airbeds and Italian sofas instead of woodland cottage primitive, while Papa Bear sports a beret, sunglasses, and a clarinet in the hippest '50s beat style (Baby Bear, meanwhile, is never without his coonskin cap). Guarnaccia's clear-line drawings convey a gently humorous vision of mid-century life among kidney-shaped furniture and Hungarian ceramics; there's a cowboy holster slung around Baby Bear's bed and an "Ursus" university pennant hanging on his wall. Children will be entertained (and, possibly, educated), design students will be amused, and adults will draw sighs of nostalgia. Ages 4–8. (Nov.)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
In Guarnaccia's sprightly retelling of the traditional tale, the "big, burly Papa Bear, a medium-sized Mama Bear, and their pint-sized Baby Bear" are sophisticated, hip characters, living in a split-level house filled with designer furniture. This Mama Bear makes chili for lunch in a Marianne Westman casserole. When they take their ramble in the woods while it cools, curious young Goldilocks enters and tries the chairs, the chili, and of course the beds, with the usual results. When the bears return, they grumble about the intrusion. "Gee whillikers!" says Baby Bear when he finds Goldilocks still sleeping in his bed. "Yikes" is Goldilocks's comment before she runs home, "...and never set foot in that part of the forest again." There is a stark modern look to the full page and vignette stylized visuals produced with brush, India ink, and an opaque pastel-colored pen, with watercolors to fill in outlines. Objects and characters appear without background scenery. As he did for modern architecture in his Three Little Pigs, Guarnaccia includes examples of modern furniture and furnishings in the illustrations. Black drawings of the designed furniture and accessories with the names of their creators are featured on the end pages. The author/artist has also hand-lettered the font for this fine introduction to modern design. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Kirkus Reviews
"Once upon a time, a family of bears lived in a split-level house deep in the forest. There was a big burly Papa Bear, a medium-sized Mama Bear, and their pint-sized Baby Bear." This hipster family—Papa sports a beret, dark glasses and a scruffy, beatnik beard—has furnished their split-level with the finest in modern design, which Goldilocks predictably abuses when she happens upon their house as the Bears go for a walk to let their chili cool off. Guarnaccia uses the same groovy style he employed for The Three Little Pigs: An Architectural Tale (2010), isolating the Bears' furniture (a Jacobsen "Egg" chair, a Noguchi chess table, a Nelson "Atom" clock, a Becchi "Anfibio" sofa, etc., all identified on the endpapers) in white space and employing off-kilter angles and a judicious use of neon lines on black. While some of the dialogue is a little odd (a dismayed Mama Bear expostulates, "Buzz fuzz!"), for the most part the retelling is both smooth and in keeping with the look of the book. The Bears have never been so cool. (Picture book/fairy tale. 4-8)
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In Guarnaccia's visually appealing salute to modern design, that crazy chick Goldilocks crashes out in an ultra-stylish pad. When the Three Bears get home, they proceed to the kidney-shaped table and find their lunch (served in a vintage 1956 Swedish casserole) half eaten. "It's so unfair, someone's been eating my chili, and has eaten it all up," Baby Bear laments. Even worse, someone has broken his 1946 Eames chair and deflated Mama Bear's 1967 Italian inflatable bed. Luckily for Goldilocks, these Bears don't growl or file an insurance claim, they just watch her hasty retreat from a window of their retro-chic split-level home. The familiar story simply provides a context for the hip furnishings. Guarnaccia details his characters in India ink, watercolor and opaque marker; his generous, fluid line and 1930s cartoon aesthetic pump up the nostalgic feel. The endpapers include sketches of the furniture items, each labeled with a designer's name and date, found throughout the book. Those who yearn for Scandinavian furniture or George Nelson's 1950s-era clocks will covet the Three Bears' wares. Warning: this fetishistic fairy tale, which may do more for parents than for their progeny, could cultivate an eBay shopper. Ages 3-7. (Apr.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780810989665
Publisher:
Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
Publication date:
11/01/2010
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
319,185
Product dimensions:
9.20(w) x 13.10(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
5 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Steven Guarnaccia is the chair of the illustration department at Parsons the New School for Design in New York City. His art has appeared in many national and international magazines. He is the author of several books for adults and children, including The Three Little Pigs: An Architectural Tale. He lives and works in Montclair, New Jersey.

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