by Charlotte Guillain
Dawn Beacon, illustrator
Raintree Publishing (Capstone)
Inside Book: A simplified version of the familiar fable featuring a kitten who becomes bored with guarding a stack of toys and decides to cry “dog” and watch the villagers come running, until the day a dog is really there and no one answers his call. The second book features a hungry little chick who happens upon the house of the three bears and helps herself to their belongings.
First Sentences: Once upon a time, there was a village full of cats. / Once upon a time, three bears lived in a beautiful cottage in the woods.
In The Kitten Who Cried Dog a village of cats, who owned an extensive array of toys, left a kitten to guard the pile of toys. A naughty dog lives nearby and threatens to steal the cat’s toys. If the dog shows up, kitten is to yell out “DOG!” Upon hearing this alarm, all the villagers would come running to help the kitten fend off the dog and save their toys. It was a boring job. Kitten decided to trick the villagers by yelling “Dog!” and watch them come running for nothing. The villager became angry at kitten and left in a huff. Back to work he went, again becoming bored. When a fluffy bunny came near the toys, he once again yelled “DOG!” Again, none of the villagers thought this was a funny trick. The naughty dog finally came ‘round to steal the toys and the frightened kitten yelled “DOG!” The villagers . . .
Goldiclucks and the Three Bears is about three bears who lived in a nice home in the woods. Mama Bear made hot porridge for breakfast and the three bears decided to go outside and play while waiting for the porridge to cool. While away a chick flew up to the window and saw the porridge. Being very hungry, the chick went inside the house to eat. The biggest bowl was too hot, the middle-sized bowl too cool, but the baby bowl was perfect. The chick ate the porridge. Seeing three chairs, the chick decided to have a sit down. The biggest chair was too bouncy, flipping the chick into the air. The middle chair was too soggy, but the smallest chair was just right. Soon the bears return from playing, ready for their breakfast. Inside they found Baby Bear’s porridge gone, his chair broken, and in his bed lay the chick.
These cute retellings of The Boy Who Cried Wolf and Goldilocks and the Three Bears are both perfect for young children. Each is very short, with only the necessary words and nothing more. Children will not become bored, as the kitten had, and lose interest in the story. The bright, happy looking illustrations beautifully complement each story. Goldiclucks and the Three Bears and The Kitten Who Cried Dog serve as wonderful introductions to these well-known fairy tales, albeit with a twist.
Prior to receiving the Animal Fairy Tales, I was actually writing a similar story called “The Kitten Who Cried Woof,” so naturally, I think this is a great series. The author has done a precise job of breaking down the fairy tale to its essentials. Her writing is smart, on target, and perfectly timed for young children’s attention spans. Parents will enjoy reading these two stories and the three other tales in the Animal Fairy Tale series.
The illustrations are happy, bright renditions of each story. The kitten has big green eyes and a white tipped tail. The naughty dog looks familiar, but I cannot place where I have seen a similarly illustrated dog. He is pint-sized with a large, tooth-filled mouth. I love the dog’s short brown tail. It looks like a little plunger attached to his rear. The way the three bears are dressed make them look like a typical middle-class family. Ms. Beacon uses their eyes to express emotion and the effect is magical.
The Animal Fairy Tales are perfect for pre-K children. The modern twist of these old classics will enchant the children and get them interested in books at an early age. Parents will not fret if they must read the same book night after night. Currently there are five stories in the series. If the author/illustrator team of Charlotte Guillain and Dawn Beacon collaborate on at least two more tales, parents will have a week worth of tales to keep bedtime happy and varied.
by Charlotte Guillain website blog facebook twitter Dawn Beacon, illustrator website blog facebook twitter Raintree Publishing (Capstone) website blog facebook twitter Released 2013 ISBN: 978-1-4109-5029-1 & 978-1-4109-5028-4 24 Pages Ages: 6 and under . © 2013 Raintree Publishing (imprint of Capstone Publishing), used with permission. Text: Copyright © 2013 by Charlotte Guillain Illustrations: Copyright © 20913 by Dawn Beacon
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