This wordless picture book plays with our assumptions about family.
What do we think we see as we turn the pages and how is the ending not at all what we expected? This fractured retelling of the Goldilocks fairy tale provides a perfect format for thinking about story-telling and how families can be different--and how they are the same.
Enjoy a cozy evening with the sweetest family you'll find between the pages of a book.
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"Assumptions are challenged in this wordless, fairy tale-like story. In a modern-looking city where anthropomorphic animals and humans coexist, a young Black child exits a golden-hued school bus in a golden-hued outfit before walking to a golden-hued home in an otherwise colorless world. Once inside, the golden child makes themself at home, dropping their backpack, hat, scarf, and shoes aimlessly on the way to the kitchen--via the dining room to grab a chair--and starts cooking porridge. As the child takes the porridge to the table, a trio of bears in matching gold scarves cycle home. At this point, readers may think they know this story based on the visual cues. But Alexander zigs when he could have zagged, and readers soon learn that the little human protagonist is the fourth member of a loving blended family. Educators will enjoy sharing this book with children and challenging them to question their biases and assumptions. (Some educators and caregivers may have their own assumptions challenged, too!) It's a clever and unexpected twist on a fairly (fairy?) well-known tale, and it's one that belongs on every bookshelf. The illustrations, which have a hand-drawn feel, perform the hat trick of all hat tricks, making the story feel simultaneously classic and contemporary. (This book was reviewed digitally.) Pure gold--welcome this one into your family!"--starred, Kirkus Reviews-- (9/28/2022 12:00:00 AM)
"As in Red, Alexander offers a sophisticated wordless reimagining, this time of 'Goldilocks and the Three Bears.' Three bears in yellow scarves leave their yellow Victorian row house to go cycling. Later, a yellow-clad, Black-presenting child steps off a school bus of the same hue and walks through a b&w neighborhood to the bears' house. After the child lets themself in, the story unspools into scenes of enveloping coziness: the protagonist concocts a golden soup standing on a kitchen chair and naps on the large sofa, feet perched on the arm. As the bears arrive back home, page turns build to a closing image that reveals the truth behind the pops of yellow uniting the characters throughout: the child and bears are a blended family. Alexander's illustrations charm with their precisely rendered details--the soft shag of fur, the tilted noses alert to delicious smells, the crumbs and soup-spattered bowls that signal a meal deeply enjoyed--in this quiet retelling."--Publishers Weekly-- (10/17/2022 12:00:00 AM)
"In this delightfully illustrated wordless picture book, Alexander offers a charming depiction of family and a twist on the classic Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Two adult bears and their cub are leaving their city row house for a bike ride. Meanwhile, a school bus arrives, and a girl disembarks, enters the home, and--after shedding her backpack, hat, jacket, and shoes--starts cooking. Upon returning, the bears discover a bit of a mess, an enticing aroma, and the girl just waking from a nap. In a sweet turn, the foursome then enjoy a meal together and, later, all snuggle up for a nap. Intricately detailed black, white, and grayscale illustrations incorporate pops of golden yellow in the bears' scarves, the girl's clothing, and their Victorian-style home's exterior. The mutual affection of the expressive bears and girl--here with dark skin tone and curly, short hair--is shown in playful, touching ways, and their many displayed photos reveal that the girl is a part of the family. Though those familiar with the story will catch more of the allusions, this take offers an engaging celebration of what it means to be family."--Booklist-- (9/29/2022 12:00:00 AM)