Apparently, Goldilocks and the littlest bear (don’t you dare call him Baby) became best friends after the infamous porridge/chair/bed encounter, and now, they face the first day of school together.
While Lolly is mainly looking forward to recess, B. Bear is enthusiastic about going to kindergarten to learn new things…until the actual first day of school, when he turns almost neurotic about meeting new people, having the right things in his backpack and getting to school on time (he pulls Lolly from the house, her porridge spoon still in hand). When B. Bear’s carefully chosen school supplies are carried away (literally), how will he manage? He needed those. Or did he? He’s got Lolly, and maybe that’s all he needs: a friend. In a nod to minimalism, the heavily laden B. Bear is juxtaposed against the pencil-wielding Lolly, who muses, “I may have packed too much.” Chou’s brightly colored digital illustrations are a nifty exercise in character spotting, as he hides other fairy-tale characters and settings; Lolly’s shortcut passes by an infamous house of straw. And Livingston plays up the original “Goldilocks” fairy tale when the duo goes shopping for supplies—this outfit is too bright, that one too hot, etc.
While it’s a relatively appealing addition to the fractured-fairy-tale and back-to-school shelves, this may replace going-to-school worries with having-a-friend fears—not every child comes equipped with a pal like Lolly. (Picture book. 4-7)