When I sat down to make a list of fairy tale retellings for our unit on fairy tales, Goldilocks and the Three Bears didn’t even make my original list. If I’m being perfectly honest, it’s not my favorite fairy tale. Goldilocks always struck me as a terror, I was confused by the fact that Mama and Papa bear had separate beds (but not, strangely enough, by the fact that they had beds in the first place), and the ending felt a bit flat. She runs away? That’s it?! If it hadn’t been for Mo Willems, I wouldn’t have given Goldilocks a chance. I really wanted to read Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs again, however, so I started looking for other decent options to read the same week. I ended up finding more great retellings than I ever imagined:
Goldilocks and the Three Bears by James Marshall. If I’m going to read a traditional version of the fairy tale, this is the one I want. I’ve always loved Marshall’s style and his Goldilocks is just the right amount of devious.
Goldilocks Returns by Lisa Campbell Ernst was one of the kids’ favorites. In this version, Goldilocks was so affected by her run-in with the bears that she opens a locksmith shop to keep intruders out of other homes. When she decides to go back to the scene of her crime and install a state-of-the-art home security system, however, the original story manages to repeat itself.
Goldilocks and the Three Bears by P. Tanasit. Many fairy tales have darker retellings aimed at older children, but Goldilocks and the Three Bears is very rarely included (for obvious reasons). The fact that Tanasit managed to make the story so creepy was pretty impressive.
Goldie Locks Has Chicken Pox by Erin Dealey and Hanako Wakiyama. Of all the fairy tale mashups where Goldilocks runs around with other fairy tale characters (and there are quite a few), this one was my favorite. The illustrations are charming, plus I can relate to the poor mothers trying to figure out who has been exposed to Goldie’s chicken pox.
Goldilocks and the Three Bears: A Tale Moderne by Steven Guarnaccia. This is what the story might have been like if the bears lived in a mid-century flat instead of a cabin in the woods. As the world’s worst home decorator, I was impressed with the bears’ swanky style.
Rubia and the Three Osos by Susan Middleton Elya and Melissa Sweet. I can’t resist a good bilingual book. Bonus points if the Spanish words fit in the rhyme to make pronunciation easier for anyone unfamiliar with the language. My third grader is much more willing to try reading it himself if the book utilizes rhythm and rhyme with unfamiliar words.
Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs: As Retold by Mo Willems: the book that started it all. Words cannot express how much we love this book. It might be our favorite thing by Willems to date.
Goldilocks and Just One Bear by Leigh Hodgkinson imagines a day when Baby Bear gets lost in the big city. Navigating all the new sights and sounds gets to be too much (I can relate), so he tries to find a quiet place to take a nap. Even though I’m firmly in the naughty Goldilocks camp, this was a really sweet spin on the original.
Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas by Natasha Yim and Grace Yong. We are going through a bit of a panda obsession around here thanks to the baby pandas at the Atlanta zoo, so I was delighted to find a version with pandas. For all you Reading Rainbow fans, Lamar Burton will even read the story to you here.