HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Goldilocks And The Three Bears
Author: Betty Miles
Illustrator: Bari Weissman
Publisher: Aladdin, 1998
Language level: 1 (nothing objectionable)
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Rating: 3 stars (FAIR)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Miles, Betty. Goldilocks And The Three Bears (published in 1998 by Aladdin). When our boys were small and just learning to read, we liked to get various easy readers for them to practice on in addition to the reading books that were part of our homeschool curriculum. Goldilocks And The Three Bears is one of several “Ready To Read” books by Betty Miles based on well known fairy-tale stories. With bright, bold full-color illustrations by Bari Weissman and text filled with repetition and sly wit, it is intended to be a favorite tale for first-time readers. Since it is written very simply with repeated words and colorful pictures, it will easily hold the attention of children as they count the chairs, birds, and porridge bowls and figure out the hard and soft, going up the stairs, such things.
However, several have noticed that rather than just watering down the story for preschoolers, the reteller seems to whitewash their entire purpose by eliminating the language and charm that young children love. Instead of identifying Papa, Mama, and Baby Bear, there are just three bears of indeterminate size and relationship. The time-honored order of eating porridge, sitting in chairs, and then going up to bed is also altered. This was one of three that we checked out of the library. The other two were The Three Little Pigs and The Tortoise and the Hare. Another in the series is The Sky Is Falling. The Three Little Pigs has similar changes in that there is a lot of huffing and puffing but no message about the rewards of a good work ethic. The wolf just goes down the chimney and lands in the pot only to get up and leave with a good-bye. These are not my favorite versions of the familiar tales.