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Day 148 – Goldilocks and the Three Bears

The story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears has been a favorite of our youngest for quite a while, and we are all fans of Gerda Muller’s work, so we were thrilled to find a Gerda Muller version of this classic fairy tale to include in our May reading list. There are countless interpretations available out there. Nevertheless, Ms. Muller’s retelling of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” is not only charming and beautifully illustrated (as we have come to expect from her), but the tale is also subtly nuanced – adding interest without veering too far from the time-tested tale that I think most of us are familiar with.

goldilocksMs. Muller’s Goldilocks lives in a caravan with her parents, who are performers in a travelling circus. One evening, when the circus has stopped at the edge of a forest, Goldilocks asks permission to go into the forest to pick flowers. After picking a beautiful bouquet, she realizes she has wandered off the forest path (of course!) and she eventually happens on the Bear family house. When the Bear family discovers Goldilocks in Baby Bear’s bed, she wakes up and dashes to the window – but the Bear family does not chase her, they are just unhappy at the intrusion. “Don’t you know that you should knock first if a door is closed?” shouts Daddy Bear. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know,” she cries back apologetically. She never sees the Bears again, but she never forgets to always knock first.

We really enjoyed the little variations that Ms. Muller inserted in her story – at least in comparison to the versions with which we were familiar. One of my favorites was the juxtaposition of the (modern) caravans and trucks from the circus outside the forest, while inside the forest there is a sort of magical time-warp to the Bear family’s old-timey cabin.  I also liked the fact that once she is far off from the cabin, Goldilocks can hear Baby Bear’s voice faintly calling out “Would you like some more porridge”?  Our absolute favorite part of the book, however, were the enchanting storybook illustrations; we really can’t say enough about them.

goldi dinosaursBonus: if you are in the mood for some laughs and are looking for another (thoroughly irreverent) variation on Goldilocks, we suggest checking out “Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs” by Mo Willems. It’s quite entertaining, and very “meta” – plus: Dinosaurs!