Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas

Overview

In this Chinese American retelling of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears," a careless Goldy Luck wreaks havoc on the home of a family of panda bears. She eats up the littlest panda’s rice porridge, breaks his rocking chair, and rumples all the blankets on his futon. When Goldy takes responsibility for her actions, she makes a new friend (and a whole plate of turnip cakes!) just in time for Chinese New Year.

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Overview

In this Chinese American retelling of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears," a careless Goldy Luck wreaks havoc on the home of a family of panda bears. She eats up the littlest panda’s rice porridge, breaks his rocking chair, and rumples all the blankets on his futon. When Goldy takes responsibility for her actions, she makes a new friend (and a whole plate of turnip cakes!) just in time for Chinese New Year.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
10/21/2013
Having set out to transpose the story of Goldilocks into the key of the Chinese New Year, Yim (Otto’s Rainy Day) turns in a solid performance. The forest becomes a Chinese neighborhood, the bears become pandas, the porridge becomes congee (rice porridge), and the errand becomes Goldy Luck’s delivery of turnip cakes to the parents of her friend Little Chan. “He never shares stuff with me,” Goldy Luck grumbles, and her mother replies, “Wash away old arguments and be nice, or you’ll have bad luck.” Zong’s (Orange Peel’s Pocket) paintings provide additional information about life in a Chinese family with close looks at scenes inside both houses; there’s even a household altar with offerings placed before a picture of a panda ancestor. In Goldilocks tradition, Goldy Luck wreaks havoc and the Chans discover her: “Look. It’s Goldy Luck, sleeping on my futon!” The images and story emphasize family life, cooperation, security, and warmth, while author’s notes explain Chinese notions of good fortune and the Chinese zodiac system, and supply a recipe for turnip cake. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Karen Grencik, Red Fox Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Studio Goodwin Sturges. (Jan.)
Children's Literature - Leona Illig
Goldy Luck, a little girl living in Chinatown, is eager to celebrate the Chinese New Year. On the big day, her parents send her to the neighbor's house to share some delicious turnip cakes with the three pandas who live there. But bad luck seems to follow Goldy around. First, the pandas are not at home, and Goldy spills the turnip cakes all over their floor. Then she eats their food, breaks the littlest panda's chair, and then falls asleep in his futon. When she is discovered, she runs away. But unlike the more famous Goldilocks, this Goldy is very sorry for the mess she has caused. Can she make things right with the panda family—and will they forgive her? This irreverent, funny twist on the classic "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" story will delight youngsters, especially those familiar with the original story and with Chinese New Year traditions. The importance of food is a primary theme of this book, and food-based similes and metaphors are sprinkled throughout. There is even a recipe for turnip cakes in the back, as well as a very useful and interesting author's note explaining Chinese customs and New Year's greetings. The illustrations are large and pleasant. The humor in the story—derived from the fact that while Goldy was supposed to share food, she ends up eating the panda's food instead—is gentle and amusing, and the moral of the story is satisfying. The Goldilocks story is a classic, and this version is one that should be welcomed and appreciated by readers and their parents and teachers. The inclusion of some Chinese phrases in the text is also a nice touch. Reviewer: Leona Illig
Kirkus Reviews
2013-11-02
Goldy Luck, not an especially lucky child, is awoken by her mother one Chinese New Year and sent to the neighbors' to wish them "Kung Hei Fat Choi" and deliver a plate of turnip cakes. Tired and hungry, and thinking of the neighbor boy who doesn't share, she is reluctant, but she takes her mother's advice seriously: To avoid bad luck in the new year, she must resolve arguments and be kind. Though no one is home at the Chans', she enters--and drops the cakes. In trying to clean up, she follows the typical "Goldilocks" storyline, eating the Chans' congee, breaking a chair, falling asleep in a bed. When the Chans (anthropomorphized pandas) return home, the embarrassed Goldy runs away, but her conscience gets the better of her. In a moral addendum, Goldy returns to the Chans' to put things right, forming a friendship with Little Chan in the process. Zong's acrylic illustrations bring Goldy's culture to life through small details in the households as well as the Chinese New Year parade glimpsed through the doors and windows, though some of the details (Mr. Chan's massage chair) may seem stereotypical. An author's note explains more about Chinese New Year and is followed by a chart, unfortunately yearless, of the Chinese zodiac and concludes with a recipe for turnip cakes. A welcome Chinese addition to the fairy-tale shelf. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580896528
  • Publisher: Charlesbridge Publishing, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/7/2014
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 493,700
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 11.20 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Natasha Yim is the author of Sacajawea of the Shoshone (Goosebottom, 2012), Cixi, "The Dragon Empress" (Goosebottom, 2001), and Otto’s Rainy Day. She lives in Ukiah, California, with her family.

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Read an Excerpt

When Goldy Luck was born, her mother said, "Year of the Golden Dragon—very lucky year. This child will have good luck." "She has a face as round as a gold coin," said her father. "This child will bring great wealth." But Goldy had neither great wealth nor good luck. In fact, she could never seem to keep money in her piggy bank, and she had a bad habit of breaking things.

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