Goldilocks and the Three Bears Retellings

The traditional tale of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” has been redone in many ways. I first list retellings of it that just have changes to the storyline. Then I include retellings of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” that have changed the bears into some other animal, making the story take on a new view (and are most charming and funny!). Here is the pdf version. Enjoy!


The Three Bears by Byron Barton

The Three Bears is told in typical Byron Barton fashion. It is written in his bare-boned text and the illustrations are his bold and simple pictures. This book is perfect to introduce a young toddler to the story of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.”


The Three Bears: A Folktale Classic by Paul Galdone

Recently updated, Paul Galdone’s The Three Bears tells the story of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” without much addition to the traditional tale. What makes this telling of the story special is that Galdone uses great big font for the Great Big Bear, medium sized font for the Mama Bear and little wee font for the Little Wee Bear. With such drastic text changing, it begs to be read boldly, regularly and quietly.

Rubia and the Three Osos by Susan Middleton Elya and illustrated by Melissa Sweet

Want to not only retell “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” but also introduce some Spanish? Then look no further for this book does both. Rubia is a cowboy wearing, golden haired girl who meanders into the casa de Oso with no thought about it or about eating sopa, breaking sillas, or sleeping in other people’s camas. Well, she awakes after hearing Papa growl in anger and escapes. The story, however, doesn’t end there as Rubia does some things to make up for her trespassing. This book is a perfect read-aloud with its rhyming couplets, and the lesson of paying back after a wrong is so refreshing.

Goldilocks and the Three Bears by James Marshall

Goldilocks looks cute and harmless. In reality, she is naughty and you can tell over the course of the story she lacks manners by letting herself in, eating without asking, leaving spills, etc. Her “don’t mind if I do” attitude gets a check once the owners of the home come in and try to give her a tongue lashing. Although in typical James Marshall style, with hilarious expressions and vocabulary (example “egads!”), this retelling is simple and straightforward.


Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Jan Brett

Adapted from The Green Fairy Book, Jan Brett’s story of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” radiates with fantastical imagery. In fact, by the end of the enchanted story you are led to wonder if there really are bears in forests with such fine houses and items as Brett drew! With so much for your eyes to explore, this book will be perfect to linger over and discuss what’s going on in the pictures. For instance, point out which bear looks upset, baffled or amazed as Goldilocks flees.

Goldie Socks and the Three Libearians by Jackie Mims Hopkins and illustrated by John Manders

Goldie Socks loves books but so does the Libearian family. That’s why a short-cut loving Goldie Socks goes inside the Libearian home: it’s made of books! When the Libearian family comes home for lunch, they know by the strewn and misplaced books that someone has been there. After finding a sleeping Goldie Sock, they don’t shoo her away, rather they do what all librarians love to do: read with someone else. From a librarian perspective, this story is clever in its humor and also in sneaking in reminders about reading and library behavior. A great pick to discuss parody and irony.

Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Janet Stevens

Goldilocks helps herself to all the Bear family has to offer: porridge, chairs and beds. When she is found slumbering away in Baby Bear’s bed, she doesn’t waste anytime skedaddling away. All of the bears look happy she left. Stevens uses light watercolors to make this cheery adaptation.

Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Valeri Gorbachev

What makes this retelling stand out amongst all of the others is the simple drawings of the Bear family and Goldilocks. Gorbachev does a great job showing the scale of Goldilocks in comparison to the Bear family members. She definitely looks her size next to the great big father bear’s dish. The Bear’s home truly looks like a cottage out in the deep forest. They like that, and they are glad Goldilocks never comes back!

Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Jim Aylesworth and illustrated by Barbara McClintock

Goldilocks can be forgetful when it comes to things her mother tells her. Such as, not going into other people’s homes without being invited, not eating other people’s food, and not touching other people’s property, basically to not be intrusive. Of course, Goldilocks does these things and after being scared away by the Bear family, she never again forgot the bigger things her mother told her. As with Galdone’s version of the story, the Bear’s text is large, medium and small based on the Bear family member.

Goldie and the Three Bears by Diane Stanley

A modern retelling of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.” Goldie doesn’t really have high standards for a friend, but no one seems to interest her. One day, her bus drops her off not where she lives and she goes up to a house to see if she can call for help. After no one answers, she goes in. She sees PB sandwiches, her favorite book to read (while sitting in a chair), and a bed to nap in. She has a nightmare that turns out to be reality: bears have found her! The ending is sweet as Baby Bear (who is a girl cub in this rendition!) and Goldie become friends. My son LOVED this one the best.

The 3 Bears and Goldilocks by Margaret Willey and illustrated by Heather M. Solomon

If you ever wondered why Goldilocks was wondering the forest then this story might help answer that question. You see, Goldilocks is just curious, that’s all. So, when she doesn’t listen to the admonition of her father to not go places she doesn’t belong, she gets into bit of trouble. This retelling does not make the Bear family as human-like as with other retellings (Their porridge has beetles in it! Goldilocks sweeps up their leaf strewn floor!). Also, the Bear family, upon seeing Goldilocks, is a lot more sympathetic to her “piteous” human self. But, Goldilocks doesn’t see that. She simply sees bears and runs home with her lesson learned. The artwork for this retelling is of mixed media and begs to be explored.

Goldilocks & The Three Bears Retellings with other Creatures


Goatilocks and the Three Bears by Erica S. Perl and illustrated by Arthur Howard

By making Goldilocks into a goat, the traditional tale of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” is turned on its head. Goatilocks does what goats do: eats. Instead of just eating the porridge, she eats the entire bowl and spoon. Instead of just sitting in the smallest chair, she eats it. You can guess what Goatilocks did to the baby bed. To make up for her wrong, she brings the Bear family some flowers for everyone to eat!


Goldilocks and the Three Martians by Stu Smith and illustrated by Michael Garland

Prompted by her mother’s nagging to do things and to be better, Goldilocks builds a rocket ship and leaves for Mars. Upon arriving, she finds a Martian home and she eats Martian stew, gets catapulted from one chair and finds the perfect bed for a nap. Goldilocks need saving and who will help her get back on Earth again?

Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems

For a “mysterious” reason, three dinosaurs set up beds, bowls of chocolate pudding and decide to go Somewhere Else. An unsuspecting Goldilocks decides to cross the welcome mat (with its ominous “(Tee-Hee!)” under the WELCOME) into a trap! She eats the bowls of chocolate, but can’t enjoy the chairs because they are all too big for her. Before she can try the beds, she overhears voices and discovers the house doesn’t belong to bears, but to dinosaurs. Out she goes. The story ends with two species-appropriate morals.

P.S. Make sure to look at the end papers! There are so many different “Goldilocks and the Three…” titles that are crossed out. Ask your kid why they are crossed out and to find the correct title (which is circled so it shouldn’t be too hard to locate if your kid can’t read yet!). Also, be on the look out for Piegon! He definitely makes his appearance, as well. This book is my favorite Mo Willems one.

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