Goldilocks and the Three Bears

by Jan Brett

Hardcover, 1996



Local notes

E Bre (c.1)




Paperstar (1996)


Lost in the woods, a tired and hungry girl finds the house of the three bears where she helps herself to food and goes to sleep.


Original language


Physical description

9.9 inches

Media reviews

School Library Journal, December 1987, Vol. 34, p70, 1p
Brett's retelling, adapted from Andrew Lang, is strong and smooth. These well-heeled Scandinavian-looking bears live in a house that would put yuppy collectors of country homes and folk art to shame, and the elaborate, imaginative, and richly colored designs bear repeated viewings. Every tuft of
Show More
beary fur is clear, every item of clothing is ornamented, and every article of furniture is carved, patterned, or decorated. Bear motifs are repeated throughout, including carved bear beds, handmade bear porridge bowls, and a solid bear door. Brett's use of borders continues to expand upon the storyline. Here wide woody borders in the double-page spreads contain elements of the action occuring elsewhere. They alternate with simple narrow borders in the single-page illustrations. Personality emerges nicely. The ``little, small, wee'' bear bumbles into everything, and the great huge bear is alternately gentle and gruff, but the middle-sized bear attracts little direct attention. Goldilocks is somewhat less successful. At first, her face is finely drawn, but in later pages it's a bit flattened. Overall, some readers might wish for less decorations and some imaginative space, and may be overwhelmed by the amount of detail, but Brett's fans will be delighted.
Show Less
1 more
In a charming new edition of a favorite nursery tale, Brett closely follows the traditional text used by Leslie Brooke with only a few updatings (the bears no longer open their bedroom window in the morning), embellishments (nuts and honey in the porridge), and emendations (the bears walk in the
Show More
woods ""while the porridge was cooling,"" a simplification of ""that they might not burn their mouths by beginning too soon to eat it""). Brett's now-familiar use of Eastern European folk motifs and decorative borders is well-suited to the story, and employed very much in Brooke's spirit: the cosy forest home is furnished with belongings decorated with bees, berries, sunflowers, and all manner of things pertaining to bears. The softer-toned borders emulate carved wood and incorporate amplyifing vignettes; in addition, they include an enchanting series of mice, who also coexist peaceably with the bears in the brightly colored illustrations and, in fact, are shown on the title page as the diminutive artists who have reproduced themselves in wood. This sumptuously detailed world provides the background for a Goldilocks with flaxen braids and for precisely characterized bears that are largeand solid enough to inspire delicious awe. Perfect to share with individual or group, this belongs on everyone's list.
Show Less

User reviews

LibraryThing member AbigailAdams26
One of four versions of this tale that I have read in the past year - the other three being done by Lauren Child, Ruth Sanderson, and Jim Aylesworth and Barbara McClintock - this picture-book retelling of Goldilocks and the Three Bears has Jan Brett's signature illustrations, rich in color and
Show More
detail, with a secondary visual narrative occurring in the decorative borders.

Brett is a master at animal characterization, and I really enjoyed her depiction of the three bears, whose facial expressions were often very droll. Although human figures and faces aren't always her strength, I thought her (very) fair Goldilocks was well done, if a little stiff. I also appreciated the folk costumes and motifs - which looked somewhat German to me - that Brett included. I was a little distracted by the fact that she referred to the bears as "the great, huge bear," "the middle-sized bear," and "the little, small, wee bear" throughout, rather than as Papa, Mama and Baby Bear, but I suspect that is owing to the fact that her adaptation is taken from Andrew Lang's The Green Fairy Book.

All in all, an engaging retelling of this traditional tale. I think the Jim Aylesworth and Barbara McClintock version is still my favorite, but this edition is also worth a look - particularly for Jan Brett fans!
Show Less
LibraryThing member loadedbs
Goldilocks and the Three Bears is a traditional fantasy story involving a family of three bears and a little girl named Goldilocks. The story starts out in the home of the three bears; it describes the sizes of the bears and corresponding items with the house. EX: baby is small and eats out of a
Show More
small bowl. The bears leave their house for a short period. During the bears absence a little girl named Goldilocks enter the house and helps herself to whatever she wants. Goldilocks’ is enjoying a nap when the bears come home, that’s when the trouble starts. The bears noticed someone has entered their home and are not happy. The bears find Goldilocks asleep in baby bears bed and when Goldilocks awakens she quickly runs out of the house to never be seen again.
This story reminded me of my daughter in that she was always curious and sometimes felt rules were less important than feeding her curiosity. The story was different from when I read it as a child, because the illustrations were much more involved than I remembered. The art work made me feel as though I were on a trip to the old world. There were fantastic details in the art work as well from the elaborate clothing worn by the characters’ to the beautiful details of the home and furnishings. The illustrations made the old story I remembered fresh and new. I really enjoyed this version of this classic tale.
This book could be used in the introduction of citizenship in to the classroom. The concept of respect for other students and their belongings would flow easily after reading this book. Also when introducing writing folktales into the classroom this book would be a great inspiration in helpings the students learn.
Show Less
LibraryThing member samitay89
This stoy about a girl who walking in a forest and comes across a family home and goes in it. The little girl tries their pourage, rocking chairs, and bed. The bears comes home and find their pourage gone and her in their beds.

I really like this book because it has a really cute story line. This
Show More
book can teach others how you should not mess with others belongs.

I would have the kids make drawling of the bears house and instead of the little girl they drawl themselves.
Show Less
LibraryThing member eamill
Jan Brett is one of my favorite children's book authors. She brings this classic fairy tale to life through her intricate and vibrant illustrations. Goldilocks enters the Bears' home and wreaks havoc on their simple lives- eating their porridge, breaks their chair, and sleeps in their bed all
Show More
before the unsuspecting Bears return home from taking a walk through the woods.
Show Less
LibraryThing member jacox2
This book is about a young girl named Goldilocks who makes herself right at home, at the home of the three bears. The three bears make porridge and they go to the woods to let it cool. When they get back they come inside and see that their porridge, chairs, and beds had all been messed with.
Show More
Suddenly the little bear finds Goldilocks in his bed. She hears him speak so she gets up and jumps out the window. Now no one can tell what happened to Goldilocks after she saw the bears.
Show Less
LibraryThing member rita009
This book is about three bears ( a father bear, a mother bear, and a baby bear) who lived in a cottage in the forest. They each had a special way that they liked things. The papa bear liked his chair big and his bed hard. The momma bear like her chair and her bed soft and the baby bear like his
Show More
small chair and small bed just right. One day while they were waiting for their porridge to cool, they decided to take a walk in the woods. While they were away a little girl named Goldilocks came to their cottage. She tested out everything of the papa bear but it was too big and too hard. She tested everything of the momma bear but it was too soft. When she got to the baby bear, everything was just right. She sat in his chair and broke it, she ate all his porridge and fell asleep in his bed. When the bears returned home, they were upset to find that someone had been in their cottage. They found Goldilocks asleep in the baby bears bed. When Goldilocks awoke to find herself surrounded by the three bears, she was so frightened that she ran out of the cottage and the three bears never say her again.

I liked this book because it is a great story. The story of the three bears has been around for many, many years. Even back when I was a child. This story is a classic even though it has been rewritten and retold several times.

I can incorporate this book into my classroom by getting my students to draw a picture of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. I could have them retell the story in their own words. I could also get them to explain to me how they would react if they were Goldilocks and woke up to find themselves surrounded by three bears.
Show Less
LibraryThing member esharden
This book has beautiful pictures that fill up every page. It allows its readers to get the full effect of the story and its meaning about what happens. There were three bears which were a small bear, middle-sized bear, and a huge bear. They all lived in a house in the woods and decided to go out
Show More
while their porridge cooled. While they were out and about, Goldilocks went in the house and ate their porridge, sat in each of their chairs and fell asleep in little bear's bed. The bears came home and found all their stuff touched and little bear finds her in his bed. All the bears scare her out of the bed out the window and never seen again.
Show Less
LibraryThing member julieaduncan
In this traditional Goldilocks and the Three Bears book, Goldilocks finds the house empty and sneaks inside. There she eats their porridge, sits in their chairs, and falls asleep in their beds. The bears return home shocked to find Goldilocks sleeping in baby bear's bed and Goldilocks jumps out the
Show More
window never to return again.

While traditional in the story, the illustrations are far from it. Intricate detail lets you discover something new each time you look at the book. The story takes on a whole new meaning as you see not only what Goldilocks is up to inside the house, but running panels along the pages also show the bears on their walk. The story itself struck me as insightful. I never thought about “how” papa bear knew that someone had eaten some of his porridge. Of course, he knew because she left the spoon in it!

This fairy tale would be great to study as part of a series of learning about the five senses. Sight could compare the sizes of everything – big, medium, and small. Touch could focus on the beds and letting the children feel soft and hard. Hearing could focus on the sounds in the story: knocking on the door, the chair breaking, the bears' feet on the forest floor, Goldilock's snores. What are the differences in smells that the bears encountered outside versus what Goldilocks might have smelled inside? Last of all, let the children try out cold, hot, and 'just right' porridge. Which one would they eat?
Show Less
LibraryThing member f_bennett
Three bears made soup and when out while it was cooling. As they leave a little blonde girl enters their home. She eats the baby bears soup, breaks the baby bear’s chair, and then sleeps in the baby bears bed. The bears come back see that someone has been in their home and finds the girl
Show More
in the baby bears bed. They chase her out and never saw her again.

Personal reaction:
This book reminds me of my childhood. I have had this book read to me for many and many years. I also like it because it encourages the curiosity of children.

Classroom extension ideas:
1. I can help the children explore their curiosity by telling me a fantasy story in their journals.
2. They can also draw pictures of the chair they would sit in, or the size of bed, and soup they would eat.
Show Less
LibraryThing member TeacherLibrarian
Brett, Jan. Goldilocks and the Three Bears. (1990). New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons.

This retelling of the familiar folktale doesn’t deviate from the classic storyline. It takes place in a comfortable home in the woods. A loving family of 3 bears goes for a walk in the woods while their breakfast
Show More
porridge cools. A little girl named Goldilocks comes upon the house, peers in the window and enters when she see that no one is home. She tries bowl of porridge until finding that the smallest bowl is just right. The pattern repeats when she tries he bears’ chairs and beds. She falls asleep in the smallest bed. The bears return and find their porridge, hairs, and bed have been used. Goldilocks awakes while they’re looking at her sleep and runs off, never to be seen by the bars again.

Although this story stays close to the traditional story, what makes it unique is that details are added that make is a rich and engrossing story for young elementary students. For example, the porridge has toasted nuts, honey, and berries in it and the bears find that the cushion of the middle-sized chair is crumpled. The illustrations are highly detailed and help convey the meaning of the story, such as when the small bear is shown playing at the feet of the huge bear at the beginning of the story. This helps the young reader understand what a loving family the bears have.
Show Less
LibraryThing member dangerlibearian
A very Scandinavian/Germanic interpretation-She doesn't show all the beds, though. Baby bear doesn't seem as whiny in this version.
LibraryThing member lpeal
This is a story that has been retold by so many different authors. In this version, Goldlicks mother sends her out to buy muffins, but tells her not to take the short cut beacause there are bears. She goes that way . She comes up to a house a goes in and tries out everything. When the bears get
Show More
home they are not happy. Goldlocks jumps out the window and the bears never see her again. A good book that kids of all ages are familar with. I would let my students write their own version of the threee bears.
Show Less
LibraryThing member ababe92
This a good book that can teach children that you have to try things out before you pick what you want. I recommend this book to parents to read to their children and for teachers to read to their students also.
LibraryThing member reginafwatkins
summary: A little girl wanders into the woods. She comes across a cabin which was unoccupied and decided to venture inside only to be surprised and frightened by the owners.

personal: This is a wonderful story of curiosity and innocence. It shows that adversity doesn't always have to have a bad
Show More
ending and perserverance is a great attribute.
Show Less
LibraryThing member Cindy_22
This is a story about three bears, a Papa Bear, a Momma Bear, and a Baby Bear. They all go for a walk to let their porridge cool down. As they leave Goldilocks shows up to their house and makes herself at home tasting each their porridge, sitting in their chairs, and sleeping in their beds.
Show More
When they arrive home they find out someone's been in their house. When they discover her she runs out and they never see her again.

Personal Reaction:
This was always a classic story that I liked. I wanted to review this story just because I liked this. The pictures in the book were also great, I love the borders around each page.

Classroom Extension Ideas:
1. Make some porridge and let the kids eat it.
2. Have them find different things around the borders of the pages.
Show Less
LibraryThing member RebeccaMichelet
There was once a family of three bears who lived in the woods. They each had their own bowl of porridge, their own chair, and their own bed. One day after they left for a walk in the woods, a little girl named Goldilocks found their house. While there, she helped herself to each bowl of porridge.
Show More
After eating all of the baby bear's porridge she decided to sit in each of the bears' chairs, and then went to bed after she broke the baby bear's chair. She tried both the papa and mama’s bed, but decided the baby bear's bed was perfect for her. After the bears returned they noticed someone has been in their home, and has eaten their porridge, sat in their chairs, and destroyed the baby bear's chair. After going to the bedroom, they discovered someone has been in the papa and mama bear's bed, and was still sleeping in the baby bear's. When Goldilocks woke up, she saw the bears and ran away.
Show Less
LibraryThing member mmgomez1
This is a classic children's picture book. I love reading this book to my younger sibilings, it reminds me of my childhood. I had this exact book when I was a younger girl. This is a story about a bear family who leaves this house to go for a walk and a young girl, Goldilocks, helps herself into
Show More
there home. Later on the bears come home and see the girl sleeping in their bed. Goldilocks becomes frightened and leaves. The end.
Show Less
LibraryThing member riannarash
This story is about a young girl going for a walk through the woods and enters a families house. The little girl adventures through their home tasting pourage, testing out chairs, and beds. After her big adventure, she becomes sleepy and gets too cozy in the families bed. The bears come home to see
Show More
pourage missing, chairs broke, and little girl fast asleep in one of their beds.
I really enjoyed reading this story. This is an all-time favorite of mine personally. This book can teach children how it may feels to mess with others belongings when not told so. This story is easy to read, great plot, and excellent storyline.

1. Have puppets of each character and allow children to create a puppet show.
2. Have each child fold a paper into 8 squares. In each square, have the child begin to re-create the story.
Show Less
LibraryThing member bamabreezin4
I like that this book tells this classic story with vivid pictures, but I'm not sure whether I disliked the book because I already knew what was going to happen, or whether it was that I thought the wording boring, or that I found it repetitive. The repetition, while good for emergent readers,
Show More
becomes monotonous and is used in contexts that are, in my opinion, more difficult for young readers.
Show Less
LibraryThing member tracyslaybaugh
Goldilocks and the Three Bears is a traditional fantasy story that students need to hear if they have never heard it before. Goldilocks enters the bears home when they are out, makes herself at home and causes all sorts of trouble. Children will be wondering “ when will the bears come home and
Show More
find Goldilocks in their house?”.

Even if you have already read Goldilocks and the Three Bears you really should read this version by Jan Brett which has wonderfully detailed illustrations. You will find it even more aggrivating when Goldilocks breaks the lovely wood carved bed.

You could read this book when you a doing a section on traditional stories like fairy tales and folk tales. You could also read this book when you are talking about not going into strangers homes. A gentle way of getting a very important lesson to children.
Show Less
LibraryThing member lmckeon
Goldilocks and the Three Bears has been a favorite fairy tale for young children for generations. This story told by Jan Brett is wonderful and has great illustrations. This book is part of my personal library. I would recommend this book to all young children.
LibraryThing member Whisper1
This is a beautiful adaptation of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Artistry rendered at the hands of this very talented illustrator, is filled with page after page of loveliness. I was amazed at the detail!
LibraryThing member brankacheek
There was a small bear, a meduim bear, and a large bear who lived together in a house in the woods. One morning, as their porridge was cooling, they went for a walk. While the bears were gone, a little girl named Goldilocks went into their house. She ate the little bear's porridge, sat in
Show More
the little bear's chair and laid in the little bear's bed. The bears came and found their eaten porrige and broken chair. Then they found Goldilocks still asleep in the little bear's bed.

Personal Reaction:
I have read this story and loved it since I was a child. I like the way the illustrations covered most of the page and they were very pretty. My son, however, thought some of the pictures were scary. He still likes it, just not before bed time.

Classroom Extension Ideas:
1. It would be nice to make and eat porrige with my class.
2. This book could be used to teach comparison and classification using small, medium, and large.
Show Less
LibraryThing member kourtneysanner
This classic story is about three bears living in the woods. There is a papa bear, mama bear, and a baby bear. The decide to take a walk while their porridge in cooling. Goldilocks finds their house and goes inside. She eats their breakfast, destroys their favorite chairs, and sleeps in
Show More
their beds. The bears come home to find Goldilocks asleep. She is surprised to wake up and see three bears surrounding her. They chase her away and never see her again.

Personal Reaction:
I absolutely love the illustrations in this book. I think kids will love looking at the colorful pictures. It is told exactly the way I remember hearing it as a kid. Everyone loves a classic tale.

Classroom Extension Ideas:
1. I would ask my students to imagine that they are news reporters. Their job is to write an article with the headline, "Bears' House Vandalized, Witnesses say Blonde Girl Spotted Fleeing from the Scene!" I would then let the students share their articles with the class.

2. As a craft, I would have my students make a puppet of of them as a bear to go along with the book.
Show Less
LibraryThing member Katieflu628
"Goldilocks and the Three Bears" is a traditional story that portrays the humor of having a "happy medium". The bears notice that a girl has intruded into their house and sat in chairs, ate their food, and slept in beds, all to find a happy medium. This story is a fun story in itself, and being
Show More
written by Jan Brett makes it even better. Jan Brett is not only an amazing author, she is a phenomenal illustrator as well. The pages were filled with fantastic illustrations to add to the wonderful story.
Show Less




½ (114 ratings; 4)
Page: 0.691 seconds