Children's Literature"The Three Bears (and Goldilocks)," the "Three Billy Goats Gruff," and the "Three Little Pigs" romp through their own stories, retold in contemporary language with a few innovations--such as oatmeal raisin porridge and a purple troll with double earrings. Familiarity makes one disregard the mayhem and terror in the old fairy tales, but the naif style of illustrations should compensate for any latent nightmares in the making. Be prepared for today's children to question why anyone carrying building materials would simply give them away for a piggy's house-building, or why Goldilocks dared to enter the home of strangers, taste their food, and fall asleep in their bed, for that matter! 2000, Kids Can Press,
A picture book for children
School Library JournalPreS-Gr 3-Two innocuous collections of classic fairy tales. In the first title, "Cinderella," "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," and "Rapunzel" are bloodlessly retold without the Grimm endings. Here, the stepsisters bicker and quarrel at Cinderella's palace but do her no harm; Snow White's evil stepmother never knows a moment's peace; and Rapunzel does not bear twins until she is reunited with and married to the prince. Charko's watercolors lack medieval detail but depict the usual images associated with these stories, replete with flowing hair, billowing dresses, handsome princes, and not-too-scary villains. The second offering contains "Goldilocks and the Three Bears," "The Three Billy Goats Gruff," and "The Three Little Pigs." The retellings are more conversational and remain true to the original refrains, but here the big bad Wolf is popped into the sky by a butter churn and never seen again. Jackson's red-ink outlined watercolors feature stylized shapes and visual clutter. The cornerstones of early childhood, the "three" tales, are much better served both in the telling and illustration in versions by Paul Galdone, Marcia Brown, Byron Barton, Janet Stevens, James Marshall, and a host of others.-Susan Hepler, Burgundy Farm Country Day School, Alexandria, VA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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