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Goldilocks and the Three Bears (Picture Puffin Books) Paperback – January 1, 1998

21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"Once there was a little girl named Goldilocks. 'What a sweet child,' said someone new in town. 'That's what you think,' said a neighbor." From the very first sentence this book takes off in typical Marshall style. Goldilocks is a self-satisfied girl used to doing exactly as she pleases. So when signs around the entrance to the shortcut read "DANGER," "TURN BACK," "VERY RISKY" and even "GO THE OTHER WAY," the undaunted lass tromps headlong into adventure. Once inside the house of the three bears, Goldilocks notices a lot of coarse brown fur and thinks, "They must have kitties." She thrashes her way through the bears' domain. Eventually, they return and scare the girl off, but whether or not she has learned her lesson is left to the imagination. Marshall's wonderfully unique characters are as offbeat and self-propelled as ever; the book boasts many jolly details and the pictures burst with color. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2 Another delightful romp through the fairy tale forest from the author of Red Riding Hood (Dial, 1987) and James Marshall's Mother Goose (Farrar, 1986) . This retelling is a Victorianesque version of a chubby, blond-hair strong-willed ``naughty little girl'' who takes a shortcut through the woods on her way to buy muffins in the next village, and invades the home of the three sophisticated bears. While the basic storyline may be recognizable to young listeners, sight gags and ironic wit are whimsically employed for those who already know the tale and/or Marshall's other works (for example, a white hen perches atop the bears' house). The tone is straightforward and droll. Marshall is careful to include basic motifs from the original tale: the bowls of porridge, the chairs, and the beds, but he takes liberties in his commentary: ``She walked right in without even bothering to knock'' and in the characters' exclamations, like ``Patooie!'' and ``Egads!'' His playful watercolor illustrations fill the pages in their comic portrayal of these well-known figures. Whether shared in a lap or with a group, this one's a winner. Marianne Pilla, formerly at Allard K. Lowenstein Lib . of Long Beach, N.Y.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 0520 (What's this?)
  • Series: Picture Puffin Books
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books; Reprint edition (January 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140563660
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140563665
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 0.1 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,032 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

James Marshall (1942-1992) created dozens of exuberant and captivating books for children, including THE STUPIDS, MISS NELSON IS MISSING!, and the ever-popular GEORGE AND MARTHA books. Before creating his canon of classic, hilarious children's books, James Marshall played the viola, studied French, and received a master's degree from Trinity College. He also doodled. It was the doodles, and the unforgettable characters that emerged from them, that led him to his life's work as one of the finest creators of children's books of the twentieth century. In 2007, James Marshall was posthumously awarded the Laura Ingalls Wilder medal for his lasting contribution to literature for children.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 28, 1998
Format: Turtleback
Putting a modern, humorous spin on a well-known tale of misbehavior, James Marshall brings new energy to the story of Goldilocks. Although devoid of the moral asides of the original tale, Marshall makes it clear to the audience that they should not follow Goldilock's example. He definitively explains, "Goldilocks was one of those naughty girls who do exactly as they please." Implicitly, his in-depth illustrations expand this characterization. With a smirk of mischief on her face, Goldilocks romps through the bears' house ill-mannerly licking a bowl and putting her feet on a chair. The detailed, colorful illustrations allow readers to step into the bears' home almost as intrusively as Goldilocks has. The reader can see that a postcard from Santa Cruz rests on the mantel and that Papa Bear wears bunny slippers, contributing to this modern version of the story. Upon returning to their invaded home, the bears each respond to Goldilocks' intrusion. "'Somebody has been sitting in my chair!' said Papa Bear. 'Somebody has been sitting in my chair!' said Mama Bear. 'Somebody has been sitting in my chair' said Baby Bear." This use of repetition, common to most versions of the tale, is appealing to listening ears and a welcome sight to struggling readers. In Marshall's adaptation, Baby Bear adds that his chair has been "broken to smithereens". This exemplifies the humorous touches that make the language vivid and fresh for readers (and listeners) of all ages.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. Allen Greenbaum HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on April 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The only qualities shared by James Marshall's Goldilocks and that other famous eating-stting-and-sleeping girl are their hair color and a very low tolerance for porridges, chairs, and beds that aren't just right. This Goldilocks is...well...a brat, "one of those naughty little girls who do exactly what they please.

Ignoring her mother's directive, as well as several "Roadrunner"-like signs ("Turn Back," "Go The Other Way," "Not a Good Idea), she takes the forbidden shortcut and happens upon the house of Papa, Mama, and Baby Bear.

Marshall's revives this old chestnut with his prank-loving, slightly mean-spirited heroine. Aside from disobeying her mother, she seems gluttonous, spoiled, and not overly bright. ALthough pictures of bears hang all over the walls, and she notices "a lot of coarse brown fur," all she can think is "They must have kitties." She devours baby Bear's porridge, breaks the chair, and has the nerve to crawl into Papa's bed after finding the other two unsuitable. Her rationale is the repeated "I don't mind if I do."

The animals' language accounts for much of the humor. The chair is not just broken--it's broken to "smithereens!" Papa Bear cries "Patooie!" after scalding his tongue, and when Baby Bear gets similarly dramatic, Mama Bear, who represents the happy medium both in size and disposition, admonishes them "Now really, that's quite enough." While the Bears are pleasant and dressed in Easter-best clothes, Papa Bear is clearly "not amused" when he sees his rumpled bed. And what does Papa Bear do when he catches Goldilocks in bed, her teetch clutching a blue blanket?
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By R, your friendly neighborhood reviewer on March 28, 2005
Format: Paperback
Whoever knew a day would come when Goldilocks', sweet little Goldilocks' squeaky clean image would be finally tarnished. I mean this chick stole and tresspassed and no one ever said a word. But in this James Marshall retelling, Goldilocks is potrayed as, well-a brat. When a new lady moves into town, she comments to a man about how sweet the little girl looks. He replies with, "That's what YOU think."

One morning our antagonist is asked by her mother to go buy some muffins in the next village, making Goldilocks promise not to take a shortcut, due to bears. But since the story is called "and the Three Bears," we know Goldilocks takes the shortcut. Meanwhile, the three bears are sitting down for breakfast-porridge, of course. But the porridge is too hot, so they go off on their three-seat bicycle. Minutes later Goldilocks finds herself at the bear's house, and the famed porridge tasting/bed sampling episode begins. I'm sure you know what happens afterwards(The bears come home, and so on...)

James Marshall(of the George and Martha books) has crafted a fresh new take on a famous fairy tale and succeded, with a Caldecott Honor Medal to boot.

As always, R, your friendly neighborhood reviewer.
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By M. Heiss on September 16, 2010
Format: Paperback
Our other favorite "Goldilocks" is the Jan Brett version, of an innocent and trusting Goldilocks, all unsuspecting of the danger she was in.

James Marshall goes the other way, creating a naughty Goldilocks who pretty much deserves to be eaten by bears (but she does not get eaten). She ignores warnings and barges right into the bears' house. Love the illustrations -- especially the bears on a bicycle. Another excellent touch is all the books in the bears' house -- these bears are big readers! (Check out the Texas flags and maps, too -- those are fun to hunt for.)

So, while the WORDS of this "Goldilocks" are almost exectly the standard retelling, the illustrations make it a marvellous original story.

James Marshall also illustrated the "Miss Nelson is Missing" books.
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