When three hipster bears leave their '50s style split-level house to go bopping off into the woods while their piping-hot homemade chili cools off, they never expect a golden-tressed visitor to come calling. But come she does, and soon is wreaking unintentional havoc on the Bear family's stylishly decorated home. First she sits on Papa Bear's 1902 Scottish "Ladderback" chair, designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. But it's too hard. So she tries Mama Bear's Danish "Egg" chair, circa 1957, but alas! It's too soft. Finally Goldilocks settles on Baby Bear's 1946 "LCW" chair, by Charles and Ray Eames, and it's just right--until it smashes into smithereens beneath her. All this activity has made our little trespasser hungry, so she checks out the chili in its Hungarian pottery by Eva Zeisel with spoons by Italian artisan Gio Ponti. Too hot, too cold, just right. And so on, up to the bedrooms, where the returning Bear family finds her, snoozing away in Baby Bear's bed.
This hilarious and highly stylized version of the classic tale is rendered "moderne" by Steven Guarnaccia's comic, skilled illustrations of a host of international designers' furnishings. Young readers do not need to be modern art buffs to appreciate the familiar story with its modish depictions of the beatnik Bear family. But anyone with a soupçon of design knowledge will also delight in the allusions, and appreciate the illustrated endsheets that list the names and creators of each decorative object. (Ages 4 to 8) --Emilie Coulter
From Publishers Weekly
In Guarnaccia's visually appealing salute to modern design, that crazy chick Goldilocks crashes out in an ultra-stylish pad. When the Three Bears get home, they proceed to the kidney-shaped table and find their lunch (served in a vintage 1956 Swedish casserole) half eaten. "It's so unfair, someone's been eating my chili, and has eaten it all up," Baby Bear laments. Even worse, someone has broken his 1946 Eames chair and deflated Mama Bear's 1967 Italian inflatable bed. Luckily for Goldilocks, these Bears don't growl or file an insurance claim, they just watch her hasty retreat from a window of their retro-chic split-level home. The familiar story simply provides a context for the hip furnishings. Guarnaccia details his characters in India ink, watercolor and opaque marker; his generous, fluid line and 1930s cartoon aesthetic pump up the nostalgic feel. The endpapers include sketches of the furniture items, each labeled with a designer's name and date, found throughout the book. Those who yearn for Scandinavian furniture or George Nelson's 1950s-era clocks will covet the Three Bears' wares. Warning: this fetishistic fairy tale, which may do more for parents than for their progeny, could cultivate an eBay shopper. Ages 3-7. (Apr.)
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