A pleasant reprise of the familiar.


The timeless fairy tale is retold with a bilingual text featuring the traditional players and a slightly extended conclusion.

A bit wordier than usual, the tale provides logical explanations for each of the choices this little girl makes, from leaving her home to find firewood to her famed encounters with porridge bowls, chairs and beds. The Spanish text is equally verbose but tells the story well. Slight cartoon drawings of personified bears depict Papa in checkered pants, Mama in a printed red dress and Baby in a striped shirt. They capture the bears’ surprise and mild indignation, working in concert with a text that finds them in the end more forgiving of than perturbed by their blonde, curly-haired intruder. A moralistic kernel for young listeners is included in the coda, in which Goldilocks expresses remorse and offers a plan to invite the Bear family for some of mother’s blueberry pie. Publishing simultaneously in the same format are Jack and the Beanstalk/Juanito y los frijoles mágicos, The Three Little Pigs/Los tres cerditos and Little Red Riding Hood/Caperucita Roja.

A pleasant reprise of the familiar. (Bilingual picture book/fairy tale. 3-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-9898934-0-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Adirondack Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2014

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Though this celebration of community is joyful, there just is not much here.


A sugary poem, very loosely based on the familiar song, lacks focus.

Using only the refrain from the original (“One love, one heart, let’s get together and feel all right!”), the reggae great’s daughter Cedella Marley sees this song as her “happy song” and adapts it for children. However, the adaptation robs it of life. After the opening lines, readers familiar with the original song (or the tourism advertisement for Jamaica) will be humming along only to be stopped by the bland lines that follow: “One love, what the flower gives the bee.” and then “One love, what Mother Earth gives the tree.” Brantley-Newton’s sunny illustrations perfectly reflect the saccharine quality of the text. Starting at the beginning of the day, readers see a little girl first in bed, under a photograph of Bob Marley, the sun streaming into her room, a bird at the window. Each spread is completely redundant—when the text is about family love, the illustration actually shows little hearts floating from her parents to the little girl. An image of a diverse group getting ready to plant a community garden, walking on top of a river accompanies the words “One love, like the river runs to the sea.”

Though this celebration of community is joyful, there just is not much here. (afterword) (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Oct. 5, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4521-0224-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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The action of this rhymed and humorous tale centers upon a mouse who "took a stroll/through the deep dark wood./A fox saw the mouse/and the mouse looked good." The mouse escapes being eaten by telling the fox that he is on his way to meet his friend the gruffalo (a monster of his imagination), whose favorite food is roasted fox. The fox beats a hasty retreat. Similar escapes are in store for an owl and a snake; both hightail it when they learn the particulars: tusks, claws, terrible jaws, eyes orange, tongue black, purple prickles on its back. When the gruffalo suddenly materializes out of the mouse's head and into the forest, the mouse has to think quick, declaring himself inedible as the "scariest creature in the deep dark wood," and inviting the gruffalo to follow him to witness the effect he has on the other creatures. When the gruffalo hears that the mouse's favorite food is gruffalo crumble, he runs away. It's a fairly innocuous tale, with twists that aren't sharp enough and treachery that has no punch. Scheffler's funny scenes prevent the suspense from culminating; all his creatures, predator and prey, are downright lovable. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: June 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-8037-2386-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1999

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