Kirkus Reviews QR Code
THE THREE BEARS ABC by Grace Maccarone


An Alphabet Book

by Grace Maccarone ; illustrated by Hollie Hibbert

Pub Date: March 1st, 2013
ISBN: 9780807579046
Publisher: Whitman

Can the classic story of Goldilocks be parsed into an alphabet book—successfully?

The answer is yes and no. The adaptation singles out key words to construct an alliterative alphabet tale that follows the original plot, but not all are logical choices. Some are obvious, while some are forced. Successful examples include “B is for bears. There were three bears—Mama Bear, Papa Bear, and Baby Bear, who were in bed” and “G is for a girl named Goldilocks.” But it’s hard to stretch the conceit out over 26 letters. “E is for exit. Everyone exited.” “I is for inside, where Goldilocks went.” K is for kitchen; Q is for question; T is for ta-dah (upon Baby Bear’s discovery of Goldilocks); U is for up (Goldilocks jumps up); V is for very (frightened); X “marks the exact spot where she landed” (after jumping out of the window). The sprightly, vividly colored illustrations are comic in style, with the bears wearing clothing and Goldilocks sporting a wild mane of blonde hair (it is worth noting that her skin is light brown). Each alphabet letter is in a large, blocky display type with a faux–wood grain look.

By no means is this an introduction to the fairy tale. The book would be best used as a guessing game or a writing device for kids who already know the story.

(Picture book/fairy tale. 6-8)