Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
Goldilocks and the Three Bears
Steven Guarnaccia, author/illustrator
115 West 18th Street, New York, NY 10011
9780810989665, $18.95, www.abramsbooks.com
"Goldilocks and the Three Bears: A Tale Moderne" is a fun and fabulous new interpretation of a timeless children's classic fairy tale. In this version, the three bears are a very hip, suave, chic, sophisticated family with immense savoir- faire and startlingly modern design tastes. In a word, they are cool. So while the basic structure of the story remains unchanged, perhaps somewhat of a warning to children to respect the privacy of others' homes, the illustrations convey volumes of education in form, function and design in the artistic furnishing of the split-level home of the bears in the middle of the forest. The extremely jazzy Bears have casually scattered in their home and Italian "Anfibio" sofa (1971), Arne Jacobsen Danish "Ant" side chairs (1952-55), an Isamu Noguchi chess table (1947), an Alvar Aalto Finnish "Savoy" vase (1936), a George Nelson "Kite" clock (1953), and much more. A handy visual guide to the objects d'art is found on the front and back inner pages of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears." The truly unique illustrations are created through a complex series of steps described by the artist: "I use a brush and India ink to give the line a fat, luscious quality, and to allow me to vary the line from very thin to very thick. I also use India ink to create the black background. On the back, I draw with an opaque, pastel-colored pen. I fill in areas--first outlined in black--with Winsor & Newton watercolors, which I mix to achieve the palette I want." This has resulted in a children's book that compresses artistic education and awareness into a fun and unforgettable experience. Though designed for young readers (age 3-4 and up), "Goldilocks and the Three Bears, A Tale Moderne" is sure to have appeal to the art-appreciating adult audience as well.