I admit I am not a huge fan of fairy tales , as a child the old classic ones scared me and as a teacher I rarely liked the lessons. However kids enjoy them and when my son grabbed one of these books from the shelf at the library I decided to grab three other versions and compare . It was fun to introduce my son to compare and contrast while critiquing these books.
The Three Bears by Byron Barton is a good introductory book to the legend of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. It’s as basic as it gets as far as the text goes without loosing any of the story, it’s illustrations are very bold and simple. My son who since getting a sister has been incredibly black and white about girls vs boys and all the differences and was really put off that Mama bear had no shirt on. My son’s quirks aside this book is a good place to start when sharing this classic story with your child.
Goldilocks and the Three Bearsby Caralynn and Mark Buehner was my favorite of all the Goldilocks books we read. I liked the modern text, the pop culture details ( a Smokey the Bear poster on the wall being my favorite) and that it didn’t take itself too seriously. There are hidden images in every picture but I am glad I didn’t notice that note until after I’d read it with my son. They are incredibly hard to find and for my 4 year old would have been beyond frustrating so take a look before announcing it to your child.
Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Lauren Child is a whimsical look at Goldilocks with pictures of a doll , stuffed bears and a real miniature cabin. What I liked about this version were the photos, annd it was impossible for me not to think of the Edith the Lonley Doll when I saw it, but my son who’s never seen Edith still loved the novelty of the photos. What I didn’t like ( although it’s effective) is that I couldn’t anticipate what the bears were going to do to Goldilocks since their expressions were static. I was so worried and rather angry at myself for not pre reading, but there were no gory bits in the end.
Goldilocks by Ruth Sanderson is a more classic telling of Goldilocks and the Three Bears or so it seems at first. The twist to this great book is that instead of scaring Goldilocks away or worse eating her, she is made to right her wrongs by makings beds, fixing a chair and helping to prepare a new breakfast for everyone. I love it because as I try my hardest to teach my son logical consequences having books like this to reinforce it is always a good thing.
Do you have a favorite Goldilocks and the Three Bears book?
Great idea to compare and contrast these stories. I’ll be putting them on hold at the library ASAP! I think my kids will be shocked that there is a “real” version, because I tell in my own way. . .and its different every time!
Terri Ann says
I love this version:
Most of the Jump in the Sun have main characters with beautiful brown skin!!!!
Janet D says
We were given Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Estelle Corke.
It is a lift the flap book so it keeps the attention of the smaller readers. I love the ending because I, like you, do not like the original ending to most fairy tales. At the end the bears are scared when they find the intruder and the noise they make wakes her and she runs straight home. Then PAPA bear makes more porridge while MAMA bear fixes baby bears chair. I love that part best! LOL
A book you might really like… I know we do… is:
Once Upon a Time, the End (Asleep in 60 Seconds)By Geoffrey Kloske. The father is trying to get his kid to fall asleep by reading more and more stories. The more stories he reads the more he shortens them.
“For example, Goldilocks and the Bears begins, There were some bears;/It doesn’t really matter how many./There was a bunch./Let’s get to the point: and ends, When the bears came back,/They found her asleep./She woke up, screamed, and ran home/So she could sleep in her own bed./Just like you.”
We got it from the library and later bought it because we loved it so much.
Mrs. Mordecai says
I have to say I absolutely love fairy tales. My favorite version of The Three Bears is the one in Yummy by Lucy Cousins. I’m in love with that book; it’s so perfect.
The twist in the last version sounds very interesting. We read several different versions, but somehow my daughter liked Usborne book Susanna Davidson (Author), Mike Gordon (Illustrator), Carl Gordon (Illustrator) best. The illustrations are very engaging. By the way, overall I share your opinion on fairy tales – most of them are simply too scary and were not meant for very young children.
A great way to explore the story is with a Story Box. Check out our version at
THank you! I love reading different versions of the same story and compare the differences. Very fun!!
Great post! I really love the Little Golden Books version of The Three Bears. It has all the necessary elements of the story (without the gory ending) and just keeps it really simple. The illustrations by Rob Hefferan are pretty funny. They are very simple, but the bears have really expressive faces, which is so important.
I’ve also heard good things about the Paul Galdone version, but haven’t read it yet.