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4.1 out of 5 stars
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on June 4, 1999
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
This is the original story, well told. I rate it at 4, versus 5, stars, though, because of the illustrations. Although absolutely beautiful, from an artistic point of view, they are a little complicated, from a child's point of view. For instance, there is an illustration of Goldilocks sitting on Papa Bear's chair, but no illustration of Mama Bear's chair or Goldilocks trying it out. Same for the beds. The main illustrations are framed with smaller illustrations which seem to be referencing all that Goldilocks does, but I bought this book for my two year old (who LOVES it), and I think it would be clearer for him if it had more explicit illustrations.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on June 19, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Brett's recreation of this much adapted, favourite nineteenth century folk-based tale is luminescent. A faithfully reworked text is simple and clear, poetic and great for reading aloud to younger children. While toddlers should enjoy the text and exploits of the "little, small, wee bear", older children and adults will derive much pleasure from this work's seemingly endless visual splendour. The painted illustrations are sublime. Brilliant, clear, richly textured, and exquisitely patterned, this book should be acquired for its artistry alone. One yearn's to reach out and touch the embroidery of the characters' clothing, stroke the bears' bristling fur, feel the porcelain-smooth, bright and beautifully decorated porridge bowls, and rub the wood grain of the handsomely carved house posts and bed boards. Beyond their technical brilliance, each painting richly illustrates the corresponding text and enlivens its characters. In Brett's version Goldilocks is at once angelic and yet completely lacking self restraint, the violated bears are more bemused than belligerent, and baby bear is a curious, playful and frolicking tot. Delightful border art offers additional commentary and foreshadowing, as well as a charming,independent narrative about a family of gardening mice. A must.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon May 24, 2005
Format: Paperback
[It is odd that some of the below reviews here are for the James Marshall version of Goldilocks, but this review is for the Jan Brett book.]

As with all of Ms. Brett's books, the illustrations are sumptuous and wonderfully detailed. I agree however with 2 previous reviewers that there are some illustrations missing and that the wording is cumbersome to read outloud.

By missing illustrations, we mean that not every picture of the trilogy of bowls, chairs, and beds (big, medium, little) is shown and I think this makes it difficult for small children to follow. This oversight seems particularly odd considering that Ms. Brett could have included the missing actions in the usual side-bar pictures that she is renown for.

Also problematic (but overcome by the patient parent) is the cumbersome wording that refers to the bears not as momma, pappa, and baby bear, but "great, huge bear", "middle-sized bear", and "little, small wee bear". Perhaps it parallels the original telling of the story, but to me and at least one other parent, it made if hard to read outloud.

That said, my children (3 and 5; boy and girl) give this a definite thumbs up as an excellent addition to your bookshelves.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 2004
Format: Paperback
I love Jan Brett's books, but this is not one of my favorites. The wording is tedious to read, and I found myself skipping sentences to avoid it. The illustrations are beautiful, but even my husband agrees...it's just not one of her better books.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
The illustrations in the book are gorgeous. However, they are possibly too complex for young readers. Still, the illustrations are beautiful. I really object to the descriptions of the three bears. Papa bear has become a "great, huge bear" and mama bear the "middle-sized bear" while baby bear is now a "little, small, wee bear". Ridiculous! The story has gone from a family of bears, whose home is invaded by a (beautifully drawn) little girl, to an unrelated collection of bears of varying sizes that make the story clunky to read, for no obvious benefit to the story or anything else besides some distorted sense of political correctness. I've returned the book, and suggest that you look elsewhere for the classic story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
My older sister had kids way before I did, so when I was pregnant with my first baby, she gave me some of her family's favorite books as a starter library for my new family.

It was one of the nicest things you could do for a booky person like me!

One of her favorites was Jan Brett, and I can see why. There is so much going on in a Jan Brett book.

You can read Goldilocks as a straight story book, words and pictures, and enjoy it very well.

You can go back to the beginning and hunt for little mice in the woodcuts on every page, and watch as they plant and tend crocus bulbs that will turn into the flowers Goldilocks is collecting when she discovers the three bears' house.

You can look for "live" mice on every page, and act out their emotions as they enjoy the story.

You can guess each one of the three bears' favorite things by looking at their colors and motifs all through the story. Papa bear likes yellow things and bumblebees; Mama bear likes red things and strawberries, and Baby bear likes blue things and mushrooms.

Every page is loaded with clues as to what comes next -- your child can tell you the next part of the story before you turn the page.

The illustrations are extraordinary. This is my favorite Jan Brett book. Enjoy it with your family.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
I was not impressed with this version of Goldilocks, while the illustrations were beautiful, the added repetitive wording got very tiresome. I was reading this to my 6 month old, and I don't mind that they didn't call them "Papa, Mama and Baby" but repeating "great, huge, big, giant, large, huge bear" every other sentence was exhausting to read and quite boring, did not keep her attention or mine at all.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 12, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is a nice retelling of the familiar three bears story. The only thing I did not like about the wording is that she refers to the bears as "great, huge bear", "middle-sized bear", and "little, small, wee bear". I think that this would be a mouthful to read aloud, and personally I just like "momma bear", "papa bear", and "baby bear" better. However, the illustrations in this book make up for it because they are absolutely gorgeous. They are incredibly detailed, and include the borders and previews to the next pages that Jan Brett is known for. I really enjoyed looking at this book, and found something new in the artwork each time I did!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 28, 2012
Format: Paperback
In this story, Goldilocks learns a lesson. She learns not to go into other people's houses. She ate their good, broke their chair and slept in their bed. She woke up and saw the bears. She was scared! Goldilocks learns not to go in other strangers houses and take anything from them. She might be taking something special from them...Perla K.
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Format: Hardcover
Variations on "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" have long entranced children. Whether it is Robert Southey's version from 1837, whether Goldilocks was simply an old woman, or the many modern varieties, the themes are the same: If it isn't yours, don't touch it.

"Goldilocks and the Three Bears," as told and drawn by Jan Brett, is a thrill to read. With big pictures, ready for a parent or teacher to show to younger ones, it is in typical Jan Brett detail. Doe-eyed Goldilocks does all the things we expect, as do the two parent bears and their son, the little, small, wee bear.

Bear motifs decorate the bears' kitchenware, providing a "Where's Waldo?" type of exercising and a smile for the child as he finds another bear hidden in the pictures.

Special care looks to be taken with drawing a realistic rendition of Goldilocks.

The retelling is good, though not magnificent. It will read without a hitch as far as meter is concerned. It is prose, but told in a fairy tale mode. The repetitions of describing the bears as they discover evidence of Goldilocks will be fun to say and hear aloud.

The bears are not as intimidating as they might be in real life. When the final confrontation comes, it is far less scary. The bears, in fact, with the little one in particular, are sympathetic as they watch Goldilocks sleep. She runs not because of provocation, but from the surprise of waking with three large animals watching. I would run too!

I fully recommend "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" drawn by Jan Brett.

Anthony Trendl
editor, HungarianBookstore.com
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