Bears by the Letter: The Three Bears: An Alphabet Book by Grace Maccarone
Q IS FOR QUESTION.
BABY BEAR ASKED THIS QUESTION:
"WHO ATE MY PORRIDGE!"
Someone (Grace Maccarone, to be exact) finally came up with the idea of telling the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears in alphabetical order. The storyline is easy-peasy: every preschooler knows the plot of this quintessential English folk tale, and Maccarone's narration sticks close to the canon here. Her main task is to select the proper word to advance the story in its stately progress toward that final denouement when Goldilocks awakes to the scary sight of three very hungry and very peeved hairy homeowners and makes her bravura leap out of the window.
In her latest, The Three Bears ABC (Albert Whitman, 2013), B is For Bears, of course, and C Is for Cool, which the three Bears' porridge is not, and with that the exposition is all set, just waiting for G is for Goldilocks, the little home invader who deprives the Bears of their breakfast and trashes Baby Bear's precious chair. Some of the author's alphabetically ordered words are predictable--P is for Papa, for example--but others are a bit unexpected.
T IS FOR TA-DAH!
"TA-DAH!" SAID BABY BEAR. "THERE SHE IS!"
As always, Goldie is blasted UP, out of her borrowed bed and exits, page right, through the WINDOW, where she lands, spreadeagled, face down in the shrubberies:
X MARKS THE EXACT SPOT WHERE SHE LANDED.
And with that, our little home wrecker YELLS "YIKES!" and hits the trail for parts unknown.
Holly Hibert's highly stylized cartoon illustrations are a matter of taste, but the action fits the story and she makes the featured letters the focal point of each page. Youngsters who are still learning the alphabet will enjoy naming the large, brightly colored block letters on each page and guessing the matching word, and slightly older kids will enjoy this offbeat fractured fairy tale in the guise of an alphabet book. Another unique riff on a much-told but never moldy oldie tale.