Picture Book Reviews · Picture Books

Review: #Goldilocks by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross

Review: #Goldilocks by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross


How would the tale of Goldilocks And The Three Bears be different if it was set in the modern day? Goldilocks would have a smartphone for starters. 

Sick of not getting likes on social media, Goldilocks sets off in search of something new to entertain her followers. A picture of a quaint cottage perhaps, or a break-in stunt, or some authentic bowls of porridge. It doesn’t take long for the bears to catch up with Goldilocks, and there’s plenty of evidence for the police to convict her of her crimes. She is sentenced to chores to keep her busy and morally straight. 

A cautionary tale for the modern day about not living for likes, and not leaving a digital footprint which could later incriminate us. 

Social media certainly has its positives, but it has also brought whole new issues. In the early days, we posted away unaware of the pitfalls. Now we are waking up to the minefield, it is more important than ever for young people to be educated to keep themselves happy and safe online. 

This story is primarily about two aspects of social media: The intense pressure which keeps us angling for likes and the concept of a digital footprint. 

While Goldilocks was caught and convicted on the same day she ate the porridge, people in real life have lost out on opportunities because of comments they made years back online. Flippant, caught-in-the-moment comments which didn’t reflect their real personalities. Or possibly showed a side of themselves that they never showed offline. Along less drastic lines, some parents are putting baby photos up without considering how their children will feel about those photographs when they are searched out ten or fifteen years later. Remember how you felt about the baby photographs your parents had up in the hall? Now imagine those photographs could be seen by every single person with the slightest connection to your life. It’s not attractive. It is important for children to learn the concept of a digital footprint early and to understand that what we put online is real. It is findable. 

The fact that Goldilocks begins her crime spree due to pressure is another talking point. Most of us wouldn’t resort to breaking into a house, but how many hours of your life did you spend last year taking extra photographs or participating in online events because you felt the need to kept up a presence. Discount the times you wanted to take part. The times you had factored in. Social media can become tiring, and it is OK to admit that. Knowing when it is time for a break is pivotal for our mental wellbeing. 

Tony Ross’s illustrations are a total delight. Movement and mayhem are exaggerated to hilarious effect and Goldilock’s selfies are so like real ones that adult readers will laugh with recognition. 

A book which will entertain, educate, and open important discussion. 


Thanks to Andersen Press for my gifted copy of #Goldilocks. Opinions my own.

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