Goldilocks and the Three Bears - Funny Fractured Fairy Tales

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Goldilocks Stories to Tickle the Funny Bone

Covers of 3 funny picture book versions of Goldilocks and the Three Bears
Dennis Kennedy

Once your kids are so familiar with the traditional tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears that they can tell you the story, it's time to surprise and delight them with laugh-out-loud versions, often called fractured fairy tales. The authors and illustrators of these three picture books turned the traditional tale upside down by changing some of the story elements: characters, setting, problem and/or resolution. What fun! I'd recommend these books for any children who are thoroughly versed in the traditional tale but especially for kids 5 to 12 years olds who may be inspired to create their own fractured versions of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

On the following pages, you'll find cover art, summaries and publication information for three hilarious stories:

Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems

The Goldilocks Variations: Goldilocks and the Three Bears and the 33 Bears and the... by Allan Ahlberg and Jessica Ahlberg

Goldilocks and Just One Bear by Leigh Hodgkinson

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Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs

Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs - Picture Book Cover
A Nontradition Version of the Traditional Tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. HarperCollins

All About Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs

Summary: What happens when Goldilocks barges into the wrong house and Goldilocks and the Three Bears becomes Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs? What are the dinosaurs up to anyway? Why did they leave the house right after making three big bowls of chocolate pudding? Is it true the dinosaurs favorite treats are "DELICIOUS CHOCOLATE-FILLED-LITTLE-GIRL-BONBONS"?

Will Goldilocks escape from the dinosaurs' house in time? Is there a moral of the story? Yes, there are two: one for Goldilocks and one for the dinosaurs. Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs is very funny story. While younger children may not pick up on all of the dinosaurs' conniving, if they are familiar with the traditional tale, they will find the substitution of the dinosaurs for the three bears to be satisfying and funny enough. Older kids will relish all of Willems' insinuations and their implications.

Author and Illustrator: Mo Willems is the award-winning author and illustrator of numerous children's books, including his Elephant and Piggie beginning reader books. His Elephant and Piggie book Waiting Is Not Easy was named a Theodor Seuss Geisel Award Honor Book in 2015. Other favorites include: I Broke My Trunk, a 2012 Geisel Honor Book, Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed and

Length: 40 pages

Recommended for: Ages 4 to 8, as both a read aloud for younger children and a read alone for independent readers. I also recommend the book for ages 9 to 12 because I think kids that age will "get" all of the sly humor, delight in the dinosaurs' wicked plans and possibly be inspired to create their own fractured fairy tales..

Publisher: HarperCollins

Publication Date: 2012

ISBN: 9780062104182

Additional Resources: Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs Activities from HarperCollins

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The Goldilocks Variations

The Goldilocks Variations
Funny versions of the traditional story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Candlewick Press

All About The Goldilocks Variations

Summary: The subtitle, rather than the title, fills the cover with the words Goldilocks and the Three Bears and the 33 Bears and the Bliim and the Furniture and Lots More Variations. That's not all you'll find in this amusing collection of fairy tales with a twist. There is even a little book within the book as well as some pop-ups and other surprises throughout the book. This very entertaining book has so many clever, but small, details in the pen and watercolor illustrations that it's a good book to share one to one with a child rather than with a group.

The first tale is the traditional tale, the second tale includes 33 bears, and the third tale involves not the bears' cottage in the woods but the three bliims' spaceship in the woods and lots of fun made-up words . The next tale is told from the point of view of the furniture and other generally inanimate objects. In the middle of the book is a delightful small book titled Puss in Boots Productions Presents Goldilocks The Play, which includes the script, stage directions, the audience's responses, lots of  illustrations and a little pop-up of the bears' house in Act 3.

Other stories follow: Goldilocks and ... Everybody, in which the bears' house fills up as Goldilocks is joined by characters from other tales, including three little pigs, a grandma, a girl in a red cloak with a hood, a witch disguised as a poor old woman, seven dwarfs and more. Chaos ensues. The final story Goldilocks ... Alone? finds Goldilocks at home alone with her family until bedtime when she's joined by some of the characters in the previous stories. Adding to the fun are some words that are popular in England where the author lives but may be new to your child, like "cheeky" and "buns."

Author and Illustrator: British author Allan Ahlberg has written, a great many children's books, many of the earlier ones in collaboration with his wife, Janet, who died in 1994. Their books included The Jolly Postman and Burglar Bill. After is wife's death, Ahlberg continued to write children's books that were illustrated by various artists. The illustrator of The Goldilocks Variations, Jessica Ahlberg, is his daughter. She has collaborated on several books with her father and illustrated Yucky Worms by Vivian French, several Parrot Park books by Mary Murphy and Toon Tellegen's series of animal stories.

Length: 40 pages

Recommended for: Ages 5 and up (way up, all the way up to age 12 as long as they are very familiar with the original story) This is a book younger kids will want to hear and look at again and again and older kids will get a kick out of reading both words and pictures.

Publisher: Candlewick Press

Publication Date: 2012

ISBN: 9780763662684

Additional Resources: Adults and kids interested in how the author and illustrator worked together to create the book will particularly enjoy the video about the making of The Goldilocks Variations.

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Goldilocks and Just One Bear - Funny Fractured Take on Traditional Tale

Goldilocks and Just Oe Bear
A funny upside down version of the traditional tale of The Three Bears. Nosy Crow, an imprint of Candlewick Press

All About Goldilocks and Just One Bear

Summary: This is a veritable upside down tale because in this version the intruder is not Goldilocks but s bear who has wandered out of the woods and is now "one COMPLETELY lost bear." Much of the fun of the story comes from the retro mixed media illustrations and clever insertions of large lettering to emphasize how the bear is feeling. Overwhelmed by the bright lights, traffic and loud noises, the bear decides to go into one of the tall buildings, Snooty Towers, to escape all the racket.

Upset, the bear decides he needs a rest and enters an apartment, which he finds very pleasant indeed. Since he's hungry, the bear thinks a little porridge before his nap would be a good idea. Mistaking the fish bowl, the cat kibbles and a slice of bread for porridge, the bear finds them "too soggy," "too crunchy" and "too dry," but after eating some of each anyway, he's ready to rest.

Looking for a chair in the modern living room, the bear again becomes confused, trying three "chairs" - a cactus that he squishes ("too ouchy"), a cat ("too nosy") and finally, a bean bag chair, which he pops when he jumps on it. However, even though the bean bag chair is "just right," the bear wants to sleep in a bed. After several tests, he finds a bed that will do, settles down on it and falls asleep.

What happens when the bear's dream is awakened by a loud noise and the complaints of a "mommy person," "a daddy person," and a "little person" is unexpected and funny. It's an unplanned reunion. The "Mommy person" is a grown-up Goldilocks and the bear is a grown-up Baby Bear. After a big bowl of porridge and a visit, the bear goes home, pleased that Goldilocks is living "happily ever after."

Author and Illustrator: According to English author and illustrator Leigh Hodgkinson, "I wanted to do a book that was like a homage to the original - without taking away any of its integrity, but instead to give it a new contemporary twist and context." (Source: Two Writing Teachers Interview, 9/7/12). Hodgkinson is an award-winning animator as well as the illustrator of the Magical Mix-Ups series, Don't Put Your Pants on Your Head, Fred! and numerous other children's books. She is also the author and illustrator of Troll Swap.

Length: 32 pages

Recommended for: The publisher recommends the book for ages 3 to 7; I recommend it for kids who are quite familiar with the traditional tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, which is generally somewhere between the ages of 3 and 5. I also think kids 8 to 12 would find the story very funny and want to try creating their own fractured fairy tale.

Publisher: Nosy Crow, an imprint of Candlewick Press

Publication Date: First US edition, 2012

ISBN: 9780763661724

Additional Resources: Preview the first few pages of Goldilocks and Just One Bear, courtesy of Nosy Crow.