Me and You

( 1 )

Overview

A small bear goes for a stroll in the park with his parents, leaving their bowls of porridge cooling on the kitchen table. Meanwhile, a girl with golden hair is hopelessly lost in a big, frightening city when she comes across a house with the door left invitingly open. Inside are three bowls of porridge in the kitchen, three chairs in the living room, and three comfortable-looking beds upstairs, and no one seems to be home . . .

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Overview

A small bear goes for a stroll in the park with his parents, leaving their bowls of porridge cooling on the kitchen table. Meanwhile, a girl with golden hair is hopelessly lost in a big, frightening city when she comes across a house with the door left invitingly open. Inside are three bowls of porridge in the kitchen, three chairs in the living room, and three comfortable-looking beds upstairs, and no one seems to be home . . .

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Browne's urban, contemporary take on the Goldilocks story brilliantly juxtaposes two artistic and narrative styles. One strand of the story is wordless, as sepia-toned panels show a girl--a hint of blond peeks from under her hoodie--and her mother walking along city streets; they become separated when the child chases after a balloon. Meanwhile, sunny pictures with softer lines and a pastel palette introduce a cheerful bear family, as the youngest bear narrates. As the trio strolls in the park while their porridge cools ("Daddy talked about his work and Mommy talked about her work. I just messed around"), the lost, worried girl enters their welcoming yellow house. The familiar story line plays out and, after the bears return, the startled child darts from the house into the rain-soaked city of graffiti, barbed wire, broken windows, and litter. Browne (My Brother) gives his Goldilocks a happy ending: she runs into her waiting mother's arms as the sun breaks out. The contrast between the threatening city and the bears' warm home adds a provocative layer to the story, underscoring the value and power of family. Ages 4–8. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
 “Browne, children's laureate of the United Kingdom, provides a haunting look at the "Goldilocks" story we thought we knew.” —The Cleveland Plain-Dealer

“Another twist on an old favorite: Anthony Browne offers an urban rendition of the Goldilocks story.” FloridaTimes-Union

“Anthony Browne turns his prodigious talents to a clever retelling of the Goldilocks tale in his latest picture book, Me and You. This is no fractured story, though—it’s a full reimagining of Goldilocks from an urban point of view.” BookPage

“A nursery staple of more recent vintage, the 19th century's "Goldilocks," comes to us in a new, poignant version set in a modern city.” –Wall Street Journal

“Browne's urban, contemporary take on the Goldilocks story brilliantly juxtaposes two artistic and narrative styles.” –Starred, Publishers Weekly

“Younger children can enjoy this picture book, but, in the hands of the right adult, older children will get a lot out of it. Browne has added depth to a story that we thought we already knew.” –Starred, School Library Journal

“In this hauntingly original reworking of "The Three Bears," Goldilocks is a modern-day have-not, while the three bears are haves; their stories unfold separately and receive distinct visual treatments . . . . It's a rich and layered book that will reward multiple re-readings and shake up readers' assumptions about the familiar tale.” –Starred, Horn Book

“Goldilocks hits the big city in this nuanced take on the old favorite.” –Kirkus Reviews

“Browne’s wry fractured fairy tale sets the Goldilocks story in a contemporary urban neighborhood and tells it from the dual viewpoints of a lost little girl and a baby bear.” –Booklist

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Browne's modern version of the Goldilocks and three bears story is told by the "baby bear," who appears along with his contemporarily clothed "Daddy" and "Mommy" bear on one side of the double pages, in muted color. Across the gutter a parallel story unfolds in wordless vignettes and shades of gray. As the bear family leaves their hot porridge for a walk in the park, across the gutter a young girl, whose golden hair is the only touch of color, gets lost chasing a balloon and finds herself at the golden door of the bears' house. On the left-hand pages, with added golden glow, she explores the bowls of porridge, the chairs, and the beds. On the right-hand pages the bears return to discover the damage. As she runs away, the small bear wonders what happened to her. On the final wordless dark page, we follow her along empty streets past blank walls until the golden color returns as she runs into the arms of her golden-haired mother. Browne uses sharp-edged naturalism for Goldilocks's dark explorations to contrast with his fully colored and textured but no less detailed visualizations of the bear family and house. Comparisons with other versions and speculations about the meaning are inevitable. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—Browne subtly overlays the story of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" with a social message. The Goldilocks character, nameless throughout, is introduced in a dark palette against a bleak urban setting. Conversely, the Bear family is presented as a colorful and happy unit. Baby Bear is the narrator. While on a walk, the girl chases a balloon and gets lost. She is drawn to the bears' house with its warm, yellow facade. There, she is another person: her head no longer hangs low, and she is infused with color, especially her fiery, golden hair. She eats the porridge, checks out the chairs, and winds up in Baby Bear's bed. She is experiencing life in a world vastly different from her own. When the bears return and find the intruder, their perfect world is shaken up momentarily and, for the first time, they are depicted without color and clearly angry. The girl flees the house and runs back to her side of town. Baby Bear is left concerned and wondering about her. The girl finally runs into the arms of her mother, and the story concludes with their wordless, warm embrace. This book looks at what constitutes family and at our culture of the haves versus the have-nots. Browne's signature artwork and intentional use of color make the juxtaposition of "Goldilocks's" plight with the bears' way of life unmistakable. Younger children can enjoy this picture book, but, in the hands of the right adult, older children will get a lot out of it. Browne has added depth to a story that we thought we already knew.—Joan Kindig, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA
Kirkus Reviews
Goldilocks hits the big city in this nuanced take on the old favorite. While the text echoes the traditional tale, Browne adds his own sly humor and presents strikingly different realms of experience in two intertwined, visually distinct narratives. In Baby Bear's luminous world, a bad day is a bowl of too-hot cereal. The rather smug, sweater-wearing bear family in soft pastels on their porridge-cooling constitutional ("Daddy talked about his work. Mommy talked about her work. I just messed around") contrasts starkly with Goldilocks's sepia-toned world of fear and uncertainty that unfolds simultaneously, wordlessly, in sequential panels. Goldilocks, who gets separated from her mother in the sinister, graffiti-ridden city streets, takes refuge in the bear family's yellow house (color appears when she moves into comfort) and plays out her infamous porridge-chair-bed–testing routine. When the interspecies worlds collide (and the angry-eyed bears go sepia), the girl flees, eventually running into her mother's arms, both now awash in yellow. Clever, thought-provoking and unsettling. (Picture book. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374349080
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 10/26/2010
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,375,584
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD380L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 11.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

ANTHONY BROWNE is the Children’s Laureate of the United Kingdom, and the author and illustrator of more than forty books, including My Brother, My Dad, My Mom, and The Shape Game. He lives in England.

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