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Goldilocks and the Three Bears: A Tale Moderne Hardcover – April 1, 2000

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Amazon.com Review

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.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams (April 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810941392
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810941397
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 0.4 x 13.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,906,998 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on August 1, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book for a friend of mine who collects 50's Modern furnishings, as a housewarming gift and now I'm back for a copy of my own! It's a must have for anyone who loves Modern design and likes a new twist on tradition. The illustrations are fantastic and very hip. What a great way to turn a child (or adult for that matter) onto Modern design. A definate baby shower gift for me from now on.
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Format: Hardcover
This is Goldilocks like you've never seen it before. My sonand I BOTH adore this book -- he loves the crazy story, and I get akick out of the tres moderne illustrations. In fact, I must confess that I bought 2 copies -- 1 to read and 1 to cut up and use for artwork in my son's room. Enjoy!
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Format: Hardcover
Let's face it -- as a fairy tale, "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" is pretty flabby stuff. Not a whole heck of a lot happens except for a broken chair and an unmade bed, and while the repetitive, predictable nature of the tale may be "just right" for kids, it's somewhat less enthralling for adults. That's why Steven Guarnaccia's retelling of the old chestnut is so refreshing. His whimsical illustrations set the story in mid-1950's America, making Papa Bear a swingin' beatnik, while Mama wears capri-pants and hoop earrings and Baby comes complete with Davy Crockett coonskin cap.
Goldilocks has been updated as well into a preteen bobby-soxer, sporting a Patty McCormack "Bad Seed" hairdo, an excellent touch.
Guarnaccia's light, humorous tone is perfect for this slight cautionary tale. For those curious, the endpapers include a pictoral labelling of the designers and years of the various furnishings sprinkled throughout the illustrations -- everyone from Terence Conran to George Nelson is represented. This book is great fun for kids and adults alike.
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Format: Hardcover
How to improve on the traditional Goldilocks and the Three Bears: You can't. But the story of old folk/fairytales is that anyone can tweak them and bring out a different version. And thus this version was born. The illustrations are ultra modern, but not quaintly charming; it uses some with-it language, but who needs that?
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