Goldilocks and the Three Bears–A Tale Moderne
Author & Illustrator: Steven Guarnaccia
Harry N. Abrams, Inc., Publisher
This book is too cool to be a children’s book.
This is not the Goldilock’s book that was read to you when you were a child, but it is the Goldilock’s story. What sets this book apart from the rest, is that these bears are hip; and, they live in a “split-level house deep in the forest.” House furnishings include: Isamu Noguchi American Chess Table (1947), Series 7 Chair (1955), Terence Conran British “Chequers” Fabric (1951), and a Charles Rennie Mackintosh Scottish Ladderback Chair (1902), among others. Think jazz baby, and modern design.
Quick Rating: Buy & Keep
This is our traditional Goldilocks, except she’s sampling chili rather than porridge and she’s traipsing around a house that is not your typical fairy tale surrounding. The bears are ultra-cool and suave, a bit reminiscent of the Beat Poets that came to prominence in the 1940’s and 1950s.
Standard plotline: Goldilocks samples bears’ food and furniture; bears surprise Goldilocks; Goldilocks leaves running. The end.
Illustrator, designer and Associate Professor of Illustration at the Parsons School of Design, Guanaccia can evoke modern design and weave it seamlessly into this story. His illustrations are, in a word, gorgeous. It’s no wonder he has held jobs ranging from muralist for Disney Cruise Lines to Art Director of the Op-Ed Page of the New York Times. In, Goldilocks, the art is not only beautiful, but it deftly conveys the feeling and time period he has set for Goldilocks and her suave, hip bears. His renderings of modern era furniture are squarely on point; and, interestingly do not detract from the story, rather give it depth. Each piece is chosen to be, or not to be, just right.
For the uninitiated in modern decor, the end papers provide a reference for each piece of furniture and accessory rendered in the book. Priceless!
It’s On My Bookshelf
This books fits squarely within the three-five-year-old demographic. But, it does one better. When you are done reading it with your child over and over (the Goldilocks story being a perennial favorite), it retains its value as a wonderful coffee-table book and a great conversation piece. For that reason alone, you should add it to your collection.
Seriously though, as I often tell parents, parenting is not about us. It’s about the child. And, what this book does a great job of doing is telling a familiar story, in a unique, artistic, way. As your child gets older, those “art” pieces, beautifully illustrated throughout the book, can be highlighted. You can have discussions about how some of them are in museums–how they used to exist in people’s living rooms. The book does a great job of capturing a snapshot of the past, and encapsulating it in a timeless fairy tale. And that’s, why this book is on my bookshelf. [End.]
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