Classic fairy tales are an essential part of early childhood education. Children can learn so much from them, but imagine how much more they learn when they are exposed to different variations of the story.
Why teach variations?
- It reinforces the original story
- Encourages creativity
- Teaches compare and contrast
- Encourages attention to detail
- Exposes children to more than one way of thinking
Thankfully, there is no shortage of fun variations of this story! Here are two different original versions as well as 12 of our favorite variations.
Goldilocks and The Three Bears by Jan Brett
Jan Brett works her magic again with a beautifully illustrated version of the original tale. Thanks to her classic illustrative style, it has old-world fairytale charm.
Goldilocks and the Three Bears by James Marshall
If you’d rather use a more modern version, this is a rather tongue-in-cheek retelling of the original story. It begs to be read as dramatically as possible, especially when the bears first discover their porridge needs some time to cool.
Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems
One day, three dinosaurs just happen to cook chocolate pudding to three different temperatures, position their chairs just so, and go for a walk with their door wide open. They couldn’t possibly be setting a trap for a nosy little girl with boundary issues, no, not at all. From the endpapers with the different titles crossed out to the ridiculous “Dinosaur from Norway,” this story is a silly variation best suited for older preschoolers.
The Three Snow Bears by Jan Brett
One amazing feature of most books written by Jan Brett is the amazing side panel illustrations. The center illustration shows the main story in the center of the page, but the author provides story clues and shows what other characters are doing in the pictures along the border. It’s a great tool for predictive reading!
Goldilocks and Just One Bear by Leigh Hodgekinson
What happened AFTER Goldilocks escaped and the bears went on with their lives? Baby Bear is all grown up, and ends up lost in the big city! Great for preschoolers and older students alike, it has very active text (for example, the word “wobbly” is written, well, wobbly!) and clever wordplay, as well as a great twist at the end!
Somebody and the Three Blairs by Marilyn Tolhurst
What if the roles are reversed and the bear is the intruder? Somebody the Bear sneaks into the Blair’s family home and gives their food, water, and beds a try!
Goatilocks and the Three Bears by Erica S. Perl
What happens when you replace Goldilocks with a goat that has a serious case of the munchies Preschoolers roar with laughter as the title character munches her way through the bears’ house. This little goat has a serious taste for disaster!
Goldilocks and the Three Hares by Heidi Petach
Goldilocks trespasses on a family of more gentle creatures in this spin-off. The word bubbles above the characters are great for teaching literary dialogue, and children will love the witty pun and silly jokes!
Goldie and the Three Hares by Margi Paletini
Again, our favorite little pesky girl with the curls shows up uninvited at the home of 3 rabbits. However, this time she manages to sprain her ankle and the kind family helps her heal. However, Goldie is not a very nice houseguest! This is a great book to use to discuss manners and kindness!
Goldi Rocks and the Three Bears by Corey Rosen Schwartz
The three bears have a band but are having a hard time landing gigs with no lead singer. In walks Goldie, a girl with the perfect voice for the group. This story is an interesting variation and can be a great addition to a music center in your classroom.
The Three Bears ABC by Grace Maccarone
The author of this version does a wonderful job of incorporating the alphabet into the classic version of the story. She highlights which word is the focus of each letter. “D is for door. They headed for the door. E is for exit. Everyone exited.” A great tie-in for preschoolers just learning letters!
Dusty Locks and the Three Bears by Susan Lowell
Our classic story goes country in this rendition. The three bears like to keep their cabin neat and tidy, but then Dusty Locks, who hates baths and could care less about making a mess, stops in for an unannounced visit when they are out. While the story is true to form, the author captures us with her use of language. “I’ll be bumfuzzled” is sure to become a favorite saying in your classroom when you read this book to your little cowpokes!
Goldi Locks has Chicken Pox by Erin Dealey
Sibling rivalry at its best! Poor little Goldie Locks doesn’t leave home in this book. Instead, she’s now quarantined with a nasty case of chicken pox. Her brother teases her terribly about it while her fairytale friends stop by to visit. This book opens itself up for a discussion on germs, how they spread and how to keep healthy.
Goldilocks Returns by Lisa Campbell Ernst
Goldilocks has grown up in this rendition, but she hasn’t changed her meddling ways. Fifty years after her initial trespassing incident, she decides to go back to the scene of the crime and make things right. She replaces the bears’ food with fat-free bars, restuffs their beds, and fixes their chairs. Clearly, Goldilocks transformed from naughty nosy little girl to full-blown meddling granny!