Goldilocks and the Three Bears: A Tale Moderne by Steven Guarnaccia

Goldilocks and the Three Bears: A Tale Moderne by Steven Guarnaccia

Tammy Everts
Sep 12, 2008

This version of the classic children's story has been around for a few years, but it just recently crossed our path. The story follows the usual lines, in an unusual setting: instead of a cabin in the woods, the bears live in a midcentury modern split-level furnished with design classics. Daddy Bear's chair is a Charles Rennie Mackintosh ladderback (too hard), and Mummy Bear's is an Egg chair from Arne Jacobsen (too soft). And as for Baby Bear's chair? It's an Eames LCW, of course. Ahhh... just right.

It sounds almost obnoxiously poseurish, but when you think about it, why not populate a children's book with fun, creative, inspiring designs? If something about these forms speaks to us, why shouldn't they also appeal to younger set?

Sure, your average kid won't recognize that the bears are eating with Gio Ponti spoons from Eva Zeisel bowls, nor will they pick out the Alessandro Becchi sofa and the 1960s Italian-style blow-up bed. But that's not really the point. Say the publishers, "It's not in-your-face 'let's learn about designer furniture'. Parents who have an appreciation of designer furniture will draw the child's attention to the pictures, and the funky images will turn kids on to remembering. The drawings and colours are very appealing, and the pictures look very tactile."

Not only does this version of Goldilocks and the Three Bears present collectible design, but, now out of print, it seems to have become a collectors' item in its own right. The current asking price for a copy is between $30 and $200. Whoa, daddy-o.

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