________________ CM . . . . Volume IV Number 6 . . . . November 14, 1997

cover Gordon Loggins and the Three Bears.

Linda Bailey. Illustrated by Tracy Walker.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, l997.
32 pp., hardcover, $14.95.
ISBN 1-55074-82-7.

Subject Headings:
Goldilocks and the three bears-Parodies, imitations, etc.
Bears-Juvenile fiction.
Storytelling-Juvenile fiction.

Preschool - grade 3 / Ages 4 - 8.
Review by Jennifer Johnson.

*** /4


Gordon Loggins couldn't believe his eyes. The books were moving. All by themselves. He sat up straighter on the story-time carpet and looked again. Yes! A whole row of library books was slowly shifting to one side....Gordon Loggins was the only one who had seen the books move. He was the only one who saw the little door as it slowly, slowly opened. Inching closer, he peeked through the doorway.
image The re-working of folk and fairy tales is itself a well established tradition in children's publishing, a trend made popular by the works of Lane Smith and Jon Scieszka. Linda Bailey adds another to this rich and probably unlimited field with Gordon Loggins and the Three Bears. Bailey is best known for her juvenile mysteries featuring Stevie Diamond, the first being How Come the Best Clues are Always in the Garbage? With Gordon Loggins, she tackles two well known institutions, one being the tale, itself, and the other, library storytimes. She takes The Three Bears and inserts a new, curly-locked character in Gordon, who is languishing in the library waiting for storytime to begin. When a door opens behind the bookshelf, he steps through it into the bears' kitchen where he is pressed into service as a replacement Goldilocks to satisfy the kids who are clamouring for a story. Although he hates porridge, he adds his own adaptations, such as chocolate chips, and page by page, works his way to the end of the tale with a reversal of roles at the conclusion.

      Gordon Loggins and the Three Bears will appeal in particular to children who know the traditional story and are ready for the fun of a re-telling with a twist. Others may begin with this version and then work through the many interpretations available. Bailey uses a light hand with her writing here. Her characters are fun, and the pacing is quick, with lots of dialogue. The text is too long for an actual storytime; however, it will be popular as a read aloud.

      Tracy Walker has obviously had considerable pleasure in interpreting this favourite story. Her Gordon is a knobby-kneed, red-sneakered boy with an exuberant bundle of curly locks. Her bears are wide-eyed and anxious, rather than frightening, and sport smiles and ruddy cheeks. Children being read to will enjoy watching the trail of bees which accompany the action and are reflected in the decor and dress of the bears. With the text's being long for a picture book, Walker provides an abundance of action and detail for her younger listeners.


Jennifer Johnson is a public librarian in Ottawa, Ontario.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © 1997 the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364