Goldilocks and the Three Bears was always one of my favorite fairy tales growing up. It may have been because I was such a shy, non-confrontational little girl that I could never have fathomed having the audacity to trespass into another's home! I think that element of suspense, not knowing if Goldilocks is going to get caught, has any kid on the edge of her seat. A child's imagination can easily run away with the thoughts of poking and prodding around a stranger's house.
Even the youngest children will enjoy this story and can learn something from it. One of the themes is "opposites" in the story. They mention big and small, hard and soft, and cold and hot. It also uses the literary rule of three (three bears, three beds, three bowls of porridge, etc.) that creates a sort of repetition; kids always relate to that. Older children can grasp the concepts of being patient and respecting other people's things.
But like most things, there is a newer model! Almost all popular fairy tales have been retold. Some of these modern re-tellings provide more embellishments and details, even answering questions that have plagued readers for years. For instance, in Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Lauren Childs, the children get more of Goldilock's background. The pictures in this book are mesmerizing and more realistic, and may trigger more imaginative thoughts than some of the other versions.
One of my kids' first books was The Three Bears by Byron Barton. It is perfect for babies and preschoolers because this fairy tale is just broken down to the basics of the story. It takes away all detail and focuses on the story of the bears. A book about bears (or any animal, really) is right up a baby or preschooler's alley. The bold images are attractive and hold their attention well. The length of the book is also perfect for younger kids.
Sometimes when favorite fairy tales are read and read and read, a parent can get desperate. This is the perfect time to bring in a variation of the fairy tale. Having the background of the original tale, kids will get a kick of out Beware of the Bears! by Alan MacDonald. After the three bears discover the mess made by Goldilocks, they decide to seek revenge on her by making a mess in her cottage! As you can imagine, this book, too, has a moral.
Rediscovering this classic fairy tale and the modern re-telling of it will be fun for not only the kids but the parents as well!
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