Goldilocks and the Three Bears is a great fairy tale to read when you’re introducing children to fairy tales. Start by reading Goldilocks since it is so easy to tell and retell, and it is an engaging story even if it’s its shortest or most basic form.
Telling Fairy Tales to Young Children
Why do we tell fairy tales to young children? Familiar stories that can be retold again and again can help them build literacy skills, even before they are reading. Retelling a story can give children a chance to strengthen their storytelling skills and learn about story structure. It strengthens their thinking skills, including flexible thinking, perception, and memory. It also gives them a chance to stretch their focus, attention to detail, and creativity. In short, there are many reasons why telling fairy tales to young children is important.
Here are some quick tips for telling fairy tales to young children.
Tips for using fairy tales with young children:
- Let them tell the story. Give them a chance to tell and retell the story over and over again.
- Use props with and without books. Using puppets, peg dolls, or anything that can represent the characters can help children get deeper into the story and build empathy and storytelling skills.
- Act it out. Becoming the characters can help children gain perspective and grows their flexible thinking skills.
- Let it flow. If your child is forgetting details or mixing things up, go with it! No need to correct them, they are giving their very own version of the story.
- Read different versions. Another way to build those flexible thinking skills and cognition is to read fractured fairy tales. These retellings have children looking at a story in a whole new way and stretching their imaginations.
The Top Ten Versions of Goldilocks
Goldilocks and the Three Little Pigs by Tracey Turner and Summer Macon
Cute illustrations abound in this mixed-up fairy tale that crosses two familiar favorites. What happens when Goldilocks shows up at the house of the Little Pigs? If you like this one, be sure to check out the other “Wrong Fairy Tale” books by this author and illustrator.
Goldilocks and Just One Bear by Leigh Hodgkins
When “Baby Bear” grows up and wanders out into the city, guess who finds him? This is a really cute fractured version that shows Golidlocks helping Baby Bear in a whole new environment.
Rubia and the Three Osos by Susan Middleton Elya and Melissa Sweet
A rhyming retelling of Goldilocks that is mixed-language, so it has Spanish words mixed-in with English. Goldilocks runs off after wreaking havoc in the bears home, but she comes back to right her wrongs. There is a problematic part in the beginning when Mama Bear wants to go on a walk because of her diet and Papa rolls his eyes, but it’s only two lines.
Goldilocks, Go Home! by Martha Freeman and Marta Sevilla
This is an illustrated chapter book meant for older children who can handle snarky humor. Goldilocks is a tween who lives in a fairy tale world. Based on Goldilocks, but includes other classic characters as well, including the Big Bad Wolf.
The Ghanaian Goldilocks by Dr. Tamara Pizzoli
This fun version stars a young boy with hair bleached by the sun so it is golden. When he accidentally ends up in a stranger’s house, he explores the house but is reminded that he can feel at home, but he’s not actually at home. (If you like this one and want more, check out F is for Fufu: An Alphabet Book Based on the Ghanaian Goldilocks by Dr. Tamara Pizzoli and Phil Howell)
Goldilocks and the Three Engineers by Sue Fliess and Petros Bouloubasis
A cute reinvention, Goldilocks has “inventors block” so heads out for a walk. While out, she bumps into a bear family that just may be able to help get her inventions going.
Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems
With classic Mo Willems silliness, this is the Goldilocks story turned on its head. Three dinosaurs are hungry and just might be on the lookout for a tasty, golden-haired snack. Dinosaur-obsessed kiddos and Mo Willems fans will laugh at this one.
Yours Truly, Goldilocks by Alma Flor Ada and Leslie Tryon
Are classic fairy tale characters friends? If so, would they also write each other letters? This book imagines just that in a very cute way. If you like this one, there is also Dear Peter Rabbit by the same author and illustrator.
Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas by Natasha Yim and Grace Zong
For Lunar New Year, Goldy heads to the neighbor’s house with some turnip cakes. When they aren’t home, Goldy lets herself in and it doesn’t go very well. Can she make it right and befriend the neighbor? This book includes a recipe for turnip cakes.
Goldenlocks and the Three Pirates by April Jones Prince and Steven Salerno
The three pirates need help with their cooking, cleaning, and hammock-hanging. Luckily, they meet Goldenlocks who saves the day and their adventures. A must for any pirate fans!
If your child doesn’t love bears but is dinosaur-obsessed, tell them the Goldilocks version with the bears first and then move on to the Mo Willems dinosaur version. It will get them that much more engaged when they are in dinosaur territory.
If you read ALL of the top ten versions of Goldilocks, talk about what is the same or different. Discuss what was a favorite part in each story. Give your kids or students time to tell and retell each version. For extra fun, mix them up in the retelling. For example, put the bears, the pirates, and the dinosaurs in one story. What would happen? It’s fun to mix and match story versions since they all have similar plots. All of this builds those storytelling muscles and literacy skills.
Telling fairy tales with young children can be a mixed-up good time, so let the stories begin!