In this educational book for use by teachers, Barbara Mitchelhill retells the traditional story of Goldlocks and the Three Bears and Michelle Mathers illustrates it. For most of the book the story follows the usual order of the tale – Goldilocks starts by tasting the Bear Family’s porridge, moves on to sitting on (and breaking one of) their chairs, and finally tries out sleeping in their beds. But this version of the story has a kindly twist at the end that puts an emphasis on forgiveness and friendship, providing a safe and uplifting message for the very young readers the book is aimed at.
The book comes early in the Collins Big Cat guided reading series and is designed to develop an understanding of how stories work. So the soft pastel pictures, shown in a mix of spreads and panels, are very clear and easy to follow. The look of the book is quite ‘cutesy’, with a wide-eyed, pink-cheeked Goldilocks and a chocolate-box thatched cottage shown in the middle of a flower-strewn wood. But a nice little addition to the story are the two naughty mice who accompany Goldilocks everywhere and generally add their own pennyworth to the overall chaos.
At the back of the book is a ‘story map’, which can be used as a prompt to help children retell the tale in their own words. One interesting aspect of this map is that, as well as showing the interior of the cottage, the Bears’ journey through the forest is also illustrated. This allows children the freedom to tell a separate tale of the Bears’ walk and what they got up to during it, such as picking apples, eating honey, going fishing, and walking over a bridge.
Finally there is a spread of tips and ideas for guided reading with children. And, for those who would like more educational resources, extra links to other free downloadable resources for the Big Cat series can be found on the Collins website (collins.co.uk).
For another wordless take on the Goldilocks tale on this site, see Deep In The Forest by Brinton Turkle.