cover image Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Gennady Spirin. Marshall Cavendish Children's Books, $17.99 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-7614-5596-7

In his adaptation of the Goldilocks story, Spirin's (The Lord Is My Shepherd) lush colored pencil and watercolor spreads are as elaborate as the text is simple. Against white backdrops, Goldilocks and the bears are drawn in great realistic detail, along with judicious use of ornate setting details and delicate page ornamentation. These bears have fierce claws and teeth, but their apparel is nothing short of royal, dotted with jewels and pearls, and trimmed with feathers and gold. The text, conversely, is completely free of metaphors or complex sentences, the story stripped to its tag-line essence: ""Who's been sitting in my chair?"" asks each bear parent as Little Bear laments, ""My chair's broken!"" The suspenseful scene as the bears find Goldilocks asleep in Little Bear's well-appointed bed is followed by an abrupt illustration in which Goldilocks runs away, looking more gleeful than terrified, as each of the bears says, ""Bye,"" and the narrator informs the reader, ""And that's the end of the story!"" Goldilocks' face doesn't always transmit her emotions clearly, but overall this is an enchanting-visually, at least-version. Ages 3-7.