There are many retellings of the classic Goldilocks and the three bears. Most stick pretty close to the original story – girl enters house uninvited, eats everyone’s porridge, breaks poor baby bear’s chair, falls asleep in baby’s bed and runs away when the bears return. The story is always a pleaser, but “Goldie and the Three Bears” by Diane Stanley takes a new twist on the old tale that both J and I really enjoyed. With a great sense of humor and appeal, Stanley brings us a determined little girl just trying to have a good time.
Goldie is a little girl who knows what she likes and is quite vocal about things that she doesn’t like. “It was hard work finding the perfect hat, a really comfortable sweater, or shoes that didn’t pinch her toes. But it was worth the effort, because when Goldie loved something, she loved it with all her heart.”
What is missing from Goldie’s life though is friends. Her parents encourage her to get out of her comfort zone of reading and playing with her favorite teddy bear, but Goldie can’t seem to find anyone who likes to do similar things. The other girls are boring, bossy, snobby, or just too rough. One day, she accidentally gets off the bus at the wrong stop and wanders over to a house to ask for help. When no one is there, of course Goldie goes in (don’t we teach our kids not to do that?!?)
After a long day of school, Goldie was hungry. Luckily, the bears had left out 3 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, her favorite. J and I have never loved the whole too hot, too cold idea and our other favorite Goldilocks book has a more understandable too sweet, too salty and just right, so of course we liked how Ms. Stanley handled the food in her tale.
She tries out all of the chairs and finds the smallest one the most comfortable, so she sits down to read a book. “When she had finished the book, Goldie peeked into the next room. It will not surprise you to learn that she found three beds in there.” She falls asleep in baby bear’s bed and dreams about the three bears coming home and walking through the house to see all of the items that she has disturbed. She then wakes up to realize that she isn’t dreaming and that the three bears are not too pleased with her.
Here is where the twist comes…instead of screaming and running out of the bears’ house, baby bear jumps on the bed to fight with Goldie and winds up turning it into a trampoline. The girls are both shocked, but they wind up playing together and having a wonderful time! Goldie found someone who liked her PB&J the same way, wasn’t too bossy, or snobby or boring and that she could love with all of her heart.
I think that this is a book that a lot of kids can relate to. J is an exceptionally picky person at the moment and she reminded me a lot of Goldie in the beginning. She doesn’t have problems making friends, but that is an issue for a lot of kids. More than anything else, though, having friends and someone to share your adventures with makes most kids happier. J much prefers being around other children and plays in a completely different way when there are friends around. It is what we want for our children since social interaction is so important for not only their development, but for their personal happiness.
This was a surprising find from the library and one that we will return to many times.