Goatilocks and the Three Bears

by Erica S Perl (Author) Arthur Howard (Illustrator)

Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

Goatilocks gobbles more than porridge in this fractured fairy tale that puts a hilarious twist on a favorite story. Once upon a time, there was a kid named Goatilocks. She lived down the road from a family of bears... Goatilocks can't resist sampling first Papa Bear's porridge, then Mama Bear's porridge, then Baby Bear's porridge--and his bowl and spoon, too. And it turns out Goatilocks has a taste for chairs and beds as well. Has Goatilocks devoured her way to disaster? What will happen when the Bear family returns home from their walk?

This playful adaptation of a favorite fairy tale is full of tummy-rumbling fun.

Publishers Weekly

Goldilocks as a goat? It's unlikely casting, but Perl (Chicken Butt!) and Howard (Mr. Putter and Tabby) pull it off with abundant good humor. Perl's conversational prose acknowledges readers' familiarity with the storyline: "When the bears went out for a walk one morning... well, you can probably guess what Goldilocks did." It's not too outrageous that Goatilocks eats the spoon along with Baby Bear's porridge (the bowl soon disappears, as well), but what really brings the laughs is that Goatilocks also eats Baby Bear's chair and bed after finding them "just right." The story's colloquial tone ("Hey, where's my chair?" complains Baby Bear) and Howard's (Mr. Putter and Tabby) freewheeling watercolors create a rollicking atmosphere. Goatilocks has expressive googly eyes, pink ears, and a polka-dot bow around her neck, while the bears, with their broad, round features, could have stepped out of a recent Charmin ad. The ending plays on Goatilocks's indiscriminating appetite, and kids won't be surprised by what happens to the flowers she brings the bears in apology. Ages 4-8. Author's agent: Carrie Hannigan, Hannigan Salky Getzler. (June)

Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 3--While the bear family is out for a walk, a young goat sneaks into their home. Goatilocks tries the typical three bowls of porridge, three chairs, and three beds, but with typical goatlike behavior, she also eats Baby Bear's spoon, chair, and bed. When she is discovered by the three bears, she hoofs it home. Returning the following day and feeling sheepish, Goatilocks offers flowers to the bears, which they all eat. Events in Perl's humorous and fresh retelling of the traditional tale unfold at a quick pace. Howard's cheery and detailed watercolors infuse extra doses of charm into the story, such as bear faces printed on wallpaper and a pair of salt and pepper shakers resting on the bears' picnic blanket. The number three is reinforced repeatedly in the artwork beginning with Howard's inclusion of three ladybugs crawling along a flower stem on the title page. In later illustrations, observant children discover three goldfish, three birds, three squirrels, and three bunnies. Howard adds humorous tidbits that will even evoke chuckles from adults, such as the name "Kodiak" inscribed on Papa Bear's camera. Perl and Howard's work provides an entertaining alternative to more traditional versions of the story. Teachers can successfully use it in compare-and-contrast lessons with other versions of the tale. Families, too, should find this picture book to be a bedtime read-aloud treat.--Lynn Vanca, Freelance Librarian, Akron, OH

Copyright 2014 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Erica S Perl
ERICA S. PERL is the author of many hilarious picture books and award-winning novels for young readers. Before becoming a full-time writer, Erica worked at First Book, a nonprofit literacy organization. She is an enthusiastic, inspiring speaker and presenter at schools, libraries, and conferences. She loves to get kids excited about reading and writing. Erica lives in Washington, DC, with her family. To learn more, visit ericaperl.com, find her on Facebook, or follow her on Twitter at @ericaperl.

MICHAEL SLACK is an artist, illustrator, character designer, and award-winning app designer. His work has appeared on board games, card games, and even a puzzle. Michael has illustrated many hysterically funny picture books--including those he has written himself. He lives with his family in the San Francisco Bay Area. Visit his website at slackart.com, and follow him on Twitter at @michaelslackart, on Facebook, and on Pinterest.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Beach Lane Books
Publication date
June 20, 2014
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, 09/01/14

Subscribe to our delicious e-newsletter!