Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Goldenlocks and the Three Pirates by April Jones Prince -- OPTIONAL

Prince, April Jones Goldenlocks and the Three Pirates, illustrated by Steven Salerno. PICTURE BOOK.  Farrar Straus Giroux (Macmillan), 2017. $17. 9780374300746

This retelling of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" takes place on a pirate ship. In this case, the mama pirate has burned their morning gruel, so she, the papa, and the baby row ashore for fresh water while it cools. They come back to discover that Goldenlocks has sneaked onto their boat, repaired many of their worn items, and fallen asleep on the baby's hammock.

This is an amusing and colorful fractured fairytale, and I love that Goldenlocks leaves things better in her wake instead of worse. I do, however, have an issue with the gender roles in this story. The papa's main job seems to be standing around and blustering. The boy just unhelpfully follows his father. The mama, however, is expected to cook, sew, fix broken furniture, and row the dinghy back and forth between the shore and the ship. At one point, the papa and boy complain about Mama's cooking skills and, rather than stepping in to do it themselves, they suggest hiring someone. And at the end, when the boy hangs off the ropes with a sword and the father steers the ship, mama is reading a book (Ye Bonnny Cook, to be precise, so not only is she supposed to cook and sew and repair and row, but she's also supposed to be beautiful while doing it.)

Pre-K, EL (K-3) -- OPTIONAL. Sydney G., K-6 Library Media Specialist

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