Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Like most classic children's fairy tales, Goldilocks and the Three Bears has been told and retold by countless children's authors, and re-drawn in many different styles by countless children's illustrators. Taking on both roles, Gennady Spirin definitely has a differerent approach with painted illustrations that look like classic renaissance paintings. 

Of course, the story is pretty much the same. The three bears get out of their beds, make porridge, sit on their chairs, decide their porridge is too hot and go for a walk. What happens next? A rather naughty girl called Goldilocks happens next, and the eerie depiction of the troublesome golden-tressed mischief maker is quite odd in this book, but because of Spirin's deft touch at depicting human expression (which also gets transferred across to the bear characters in the story too, spookily!), children can more readily identify with this version of Goldilocks rather than a more basic depiction. 

Sumptuous luxurious artwork is one thing, but a rather hacked up and bashed about version of the story is something else and unfortunately that's what you've got here. The text doesn't do the pictures justice, and though it's not an easy task to take a fairly basic children's story and dress it up in better text, the story seems to come to a rather abrupt end (and worse still, the blond miscreant doesn't seem to get her come-uppance! Tsk!)

Charlotte's best bit - Poor baby bear's broken chair

Daddy's favourite bit - Spirin's luxurious illustrations. Almost good enough to hang on the wall. 

Rating: 3 out of 5