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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Goldilocks and Just One Bear, written and illustrated by Leigh Hodgkinson. Nosy Crow, Candlewick, Random House. 2011. $19.00 ages 4 aand up

"The bear peeked through
a door and thought how very
pleasant it was up here.
"Not nasty and noisy
like down there," said the
bear. "Just the place for a
little rest." All that whooshy
traveling was certainly a
hungry business..."

OOPS! Without knowing how it happened, a bear finds himself away from all that is familiar...twigs, the woods, hooting owls; and lost in a maze of bright lights, loud cars and noise, noise, noise! With legs wobbling and heart pounding, he pops into Snooty Towers, looking for peace and quiet.

As he dizzily enters through the revolving door, he careens toward the open elevator door, and heads to the very top floor. When the doors open into a lovely (and peaceful) penthouse, the bear calms and makes himself quite comfortable. Kids will recognize what's coming next...the porridge, the chairs and the beds. There are a number of surprises as he makes his way through the apartment and has difficulty with the unfamiliar in this new environment.

After trying out a cactus and a cat for suitable seating, amid giggles and snickers from rapt listeners, Bear moves on to the bedrooms...tired and ready to 'feel like himself again. That's when his dreams of home are interrupted by loud shouting, and the bear is discovered in much the same that Goldilocks was found in the original fairy tale. The family members are not pleased...and the bear is terrified. That lasts for both until the story ends in a hilarious surprise for all!

The artwork is filled with details and humor and offers a very modern look at this traditional tale. Readers are sure to delight in the dilemmas that arise when the bear finds himself in unfamiliar territory. The signs are not of any help, the storefronts on the city street are great fun to read, and the thoroughly modern family sport all of the accoutrements that come with wealth and privilege.  The blues are striking, the greens lime, and there are plenty of pinks...all done in patterned, scratchy textures that will make you want to reach out and touch the pages. So much to see and enjoy!

Don't forget to visit today to see what Leonard Marcus has to say about the value in reading picture books to your children!

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