This version of the classic Goldilocks and the Three Bears is actually pretty straightforward as restorying goes. While the plot and the twists remain true to the original, Steven Guarnaccia introduced a different dimension to the visual narrative. Our bears are modern-day hipsters! An interesting addition to our Fractured Fairytale theme this July and August.
Jazzy, Avant-garde Home Design (with a dab of the minimalist). Rather than a stand-alone piece, I believe that this is a good companion book to the traditional Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Young children would relish spotting the differences and highlighting similarities from a visual, stylized vantage (since there is little that has been modified from the actual text-narrative).
For one thing, the family of bears “lived in a split-level house deep in the forest.” Hmm.. At least they are not staying in posh condo units. While the house also had the usual big burly chair (Papa Bear’s), medium-sized chair (for Mommy Bear), and pint-sized chair for Baby Bear, the book cover indicates that the furnishings are courtesy of an international posse of designers ranging from Alvar Aalto to Isamu Noguchi and Charles and Ray Eames. Since I myself am not familiar with these names [Ikea is good enough for me], I thought that it would be nice to present the actual furnishing (courtesy of google) with the images found in the book.
I was also blown away at the fact that even the bears’ beds are designer-made. These hipster bears must be rolling in dough.
Of Chili and Oversized Chairs. Instead of a bowl of porridge, Mother Bear with the hippie psychedelic-pink scarf on her head, made chili for lunch. And as the story goes, Goldilocks chanced upon their trendy home while the family was out walking through the woods – and made herself instantly at home. She sat on the chairs (broke Baby Bear’s Charles and Ray Eames), tasted the chili (and ate Baby Bear’s share), and slept on Baby Bear’s bed.
I feel that young kids who may be deeply into design and fashion would be interested in the decidedly-hip (and atrociously-expensive) furniture found from within the pages of the book. A glossary of furniture names and their designers could be found in the front and back part of the book as well.
Steven Guarnaccia is currently the Department Chair of Parsons School of Design Illustration Program. He is not only a children’s book illustrator, he is also a designer whose stylized form of illustrations appeared in national and international magazines. The jacketflap of the book indicates that he has also designed greeting cards for the Museum of Modern Art, New York and watches for Swatch. He currently lives and works in Montclair New Jersey with his family. We have also featured his fractured fairy tale version of The Three Little Pigs in Fats’ review as could be found here. If you wish to know more about Steven, this is his official website.
Goldilocks and the Three Bears: A Tale Moderne. Retold and Illustrated by Steven Guarnaccia. Harry N. Abrams, Inc., Publishers, New York, 1999. Book borrowed from the community library.