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DUSTY LOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS by Susan Lowell

DUSTY LOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS

By Susan Lowell (Author) , Randy Cecil (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: May 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-8050-5862-1
Publisher: Henry Holt

Lowell and Cecil (Little Red Cowboy Hat, 1997) return to cowboy twists on nursery tales when they take Goldilocks and plunk her down in Montana in this spry retelling of a classic. Hewing to the original fairly closely, Lowell adds a few licks of her own: there’s Dusty Locks, a rapscallion who hasn’t taken a bath for a month of Sundays, and the bears are a family of grizzlies. Dusty raids the bears’ digs after they go for a walk while their beans are cooling. She scarfs the cub’s beans (the others are so spicy or too bland), busts the cub’s stool (by mistake), and takes to the cub’s bed when Papa Bear’s pile of prickly branches and Mama’s featherbed don’t suit her. When she awakens to the three bears staring down at her, she hightails it home and submits to a good washing. She’d never be recognized with her new sweet scent. Lowell trots out a good bunch of expressions—“cross as two sticks” and “no more manners than a pig in a peach orchard”—and the tale sparks with pert humor: When the bears find Dusty Locks sleeping in the cub’s bed, Mama Bear notes, “Smells mighty whiffy in here!” And though the story’s momentum is somewhat on the clunky side, the comedy keeps the wheels turning, as do Cecil’s pictures of goofy bears in cowboy boots and kerchiefs. (Picture book. 4-8)