I love taking a look at different versions of well known fairy tales. While the originals are a force to be reckoned with, there is such a wealth of creativity when authors dream up alternate versions of stories that we know by heart. Recently, we decided to take a look at a wide variety of Goldilocks options.
James Marshall’s version of Goldilocks and the Three Bears is a classic retelling that has been slightly modernized with Marshall’s whimsical illustrations. Goldilocks is a naughty little girl who often ignores her mother’s rules. At the bears’ house, baby bear’s porridge is too hot to eat, so the family goes out for a bike ride and Goldi enters and does her usual damage.
Jan Brett takes the classic story and moves it to Alaska. In Three Snow Bears, Goldilocks is a little Inuit girl who wanders into the bears’ igloo when they go out to let their breakfast cool. She drinks his soup, finds his fur lined boots super comfortable, and gets cozy under his furry blanket. Like most Goldilocks heroines, she runs away when the bears come home, but these bears don’t seem to mind that she visited and wave good-bye to her as she leaves.
For those looking for a non-traditional, non-blonde version of Goldilocks, Yolanda King has written Curlilocks and the Three Pink Pandas. In this story Curlilocks gets sidetracked by butterflies while picking blueberries and gets lost. She finds the pink pandas’ house and goes in. She eats their oatmeal with ghee, untangles her curls with their brushes, then falls asleep in the youngest panda’s bed. When she runs home, she tells her parents what happened. They take her back to the panda’s house so that she can apologize for breaking Pumpkin’s comb and messing things up. Then both families enjoy a lovely meal together. A nice update to the story, especially with her going back to their house and making things right.
Diane Stanley put a great spin on the traditional Goldilocks story by modernizing it and making it less about a nosy girl and instead about a little girl who was looking for a friend. In Goldie and the Three Bears, Goldie knows what she likes and what she doesn’t, but she can’t seem to find a friend who gets her and likes to do similar things. One day she accidentally gets off the school bus at the wrong stop and looks for help. She goes into the house of the three bears and has her usual misadventures. When baby bear finds Goldie in her bed, she is m-a-d mad. But when the little bear takes a running leap into the bed to pounce on Goldie, the two girls wind up using the bed like a trampoline. Rather than running away, Goldie explains what happened and she and Baby Bear become good friends.
Corey Rosen Schwartz and Beth Coulton change things up by bringing in a musical aspect in Goldi Rocks and the Three Bears. In this story, the three bears are in a rock band but are in need of a soprano to take their group to the next level. While they go out to hold auditions, Goldi finds their house/studio. Rather than the traditional porridge, chair and bed, Goldi tries out their microphones, headphones and instruments. When the bears return unsuccessful, Goldi hits a perfect high C in fright when they wake her up. Once she gets over her shock, they ask her to join the band and they all live happily ever after.
Goldie goes Western in Sunny Lowell’s Dusty Locks and the Three Bears. In this version, Dusty was a dirty little girl who hadn’t bathed in a month. When she runs away from her mother one day, she finds herself at the home of the three bears and barges in. Comically, we are told that if she had just waited, the bears probably would have offered her some of their beans with Western hospitality, but she couldn’t wait. When the bears do come home, they are shocked and amazed by her smell thinking perhaps that she is a skunk. Unlike most Goldilocks stories, this one shows what happens when she gets home – she is scolded for running away and immediately bathed. If she ever ran into the bears again, they wouldn’t recognize her.
One of my all time favorites is Mo Willems’ Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs. In this laugh out loud version, there are three dinosaurs who set up chocolate pudding and then, for no particular reason, they went “Someplace Else and were definitely not hiding in the woods waiting for an unsuspecting kid to come by.” The dinosaurs are trying to make a tasty meal of the nosy child, but she fortunately figures it out and high tales it out of their house before doom befalls her. I actually did a complete review with pictures a few years ago which you can read here.
Marilyn Tolhurst wrote Somebody and the Three Blaires for her son “who used to be outraged at the way Goldilocks treated the baby bear.” As you may recall, Goldilocks destroys everything that belongs to Baby Bear and then runs away screaming. In this book, the Blaires decide to go for a walk and a bear called Somebody comes into their house. She messes up all sorts of stuff because, as a bear, she doesn’t know any better. Baby Blair thinks each thing is rather comical, especially when he finds Somebody in his crib and says, “Issa big teddy bear.” Somebody escapes down the drainpipe and Baby Blaire invites her to come back to play.
A fun twist on the story comes when we hear the story from a very modern Baby Bear’s perspective. In Believe Me, Goldilocks Rocks!, Nancy Loewen has taken the story that we all know so well and completely turned it on its head. In this story, Sam (aka Baby Bear) can’t stand porridge so his parents make him go for a walk, because if you’re hungry enough, you’ll eat anything. He sneaks back home and finds Goldilocks in his house taking selfies of herself eating porridge and sitting in various chairs – she’s been dared by Red Riding Hood. When Goldi starts jumping on the beds, Sam asks to be let in so they can play together. Sam pretends to chase Goldi out of the house, but while they are running they trade phone numbers. A great addition to the truly fractured fairy tale grouping.
In a similar vein, Beware of the Bear, by Alan McDonald, shows the bears attempting to get back at Goldilocks for the havoc she wrecked on their house. The bears enter what they believe is Goldi’s house and mess it up – they have a cereal food fight, dance on her furniture, use her bathroom supplies, and have a pillow fight. When Goldi enters the house, the bears jump out to tell her that they decided to pay her a visit. The extra twist happens when we learn that this was just another of the many houses she randomly sneaks into and that it belongs to the big bad wolf!
It is really amazing how many different versions of the same story are out there. Plus, we also enjoy what Chris Colfer does mashing all of the fairy tales together in The Land of Stories series. Do you have a favorite version of a fairy tale?
What happens when you take Mo Willems and give him free reign on Goldilocks? The awesome book Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs.
“Once upon a time there were three hungry Dinosaurs. One day – for no particular reason, the three Dinosaurs made up their beds, positioned their chairs just so, and cooked up three bowls of delicious chocolate pudding at varying temperatures.” And then, for no particular reason, they went “Someplace Else and were definitely not hiding in the woods waiting for an unsuspecting kid to come by.”
So begins the re-imagined tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. The dinosaurs laugh mischievously and place signs directing Goldilocks to their house, and try to not give away the fact that they are setting a trap for her. “Either way, Goldilocks was not the type of little girl who listened to anyone or anything” like not barging into other people’s houses. She sucks down three enormous bowls of chocolate pudding, who cares about the temperature, it was chocolate, and needs to take a rest. The dinosaurs watch her from outside their bedroom window, waiting for her to go into a chocolate pudding induced slumber, when she finally hears one of them mentioning that their chocolate-filled-little-girl-bonbon isn’t quite ready and will taste better when she’s rested. Little miss actually takes a moment to think about it and realizes that she is not in the three bears’ house but rather in the dinosaur’s house and high-tales it out of there leaving three very disappointed dinosaurs.
This book was uproariously funny. I loved the tongue in cheek aspect and the simple illustrations. There was a lot of subtle humor through both words and visual gags. I think I laughed even more because my daughter really enjoyed the book but didn’t realize that the dinosaurs were trying to fill her with chocolate so that they could eat her. Part of that was because she had never heard the term bonbon, but regardless, she just thought the story was fun. I have a feeling that if I returned to this book in a few months with her, she would respond differently.
This was a wonderfully funny fractured fairy tale that kept mom and kid smiling throughout.
There are many retellings of the classic Goldilocks and the three bears. Most stick pretty close to the original story – girl enters house uninvited, eats everyone’s porridge, breaks poor baby bear’s chair, falls asleep in baby’s bed and runs away when the bears return. The story is always a pleaser, but “Goldie and the Three Bears” by Diane Stanley takes a new twist on the old tale that both J and I really enjoyed. With a great sense of humor and appeal, Stanley brings us a determined little girl just trying to have a good time.
Goldie is a little girl who knows what she likes and is quite vocal about things that she doesn’t like. “It was hard work finding the perfect hat, a really comfortable sweater, or shoes that didn’t pinch her toes. But it was worth the effort, because when Goldie loved something, she loved it with all her heart.”
What is missing from Goldie’s life though is friends. Her parents encourage her to get out of her comfort zone of reading and playing with her favorite teddy bear, but Goldie can’t seem to find anyone who likes to do similar things. The other girls are boring, bossy, snobby, or just too rough. One day, she accidentally gets off the bus at the wrong stop and wanders over to a house to ask for help. When no one is there, of course Goldie goes in (don’t we teach our kids not to do that?!?)
After a long day of school, Goldie was hungry. Luckily, the bears had left out 3 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, her favorite. J and I have never loved the whole too hot, too cold idea and our other favorite Goldilocks book has a more understandable too sweet, too salty and just right, so of course we liked how Ms. Stanley handled the food in her tale.
She tries out all of the chairs and finds the smallest one the most comfortable, so she sits down to read a book. “When she had finished the book, Goldie peeked into the next room. It will not surprise you to learn that she found three beds in there.” She falls asleep in baby bear’s bed and dreams about the three bears coming home and walking through the house to see all of the items that she has disturbed. She then wakes up to realize that she isn’t dreaming and that the three bears are not too pleased with her.
Here is where the twist comes…instead of screaming and running out of the bears’ house, baby bear jumps on the bed to fight with Goldie and winds up turning it into a trampoline. The girls are both shocked, but they wind up playing together and having a wonderful time! Goldie found someone who liked her PB&J the same way, wasn’t too bossy, or snobby or boring and that she could love with all of her heart.
I think that this is a book that a lot of kids can relate to. J is an exceptionally picky person at the moment and she reminded me a lot of Goldie in the beginning. She doesn’t have problems making friends, but that is an issue for a lot of kids. More than anything else, though, having friends and someone to share your adventures with makes most kids happier. J much prefers being around other children and plays in a completely different way when there are friends around. It is what we want for our children since social interaction is so important for not only their development, but for their personal happiness.
This was a surprising find from the library and one that we will return to many times.