Once Upon a Time….

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Raisin's puppets (last summer) created by me (Obviously, I'm not an artist.)

There was a little boy who was obsessed with the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. He tests his oatmeal and declares it “just right.” He finishes his oatmeal and brags on how he ate it “all up”! He knocks over chairs and says “broken to smithereens!” and he growls as a bear at an imaginary Goldilocks. (He does a really good papa bear saying, “Someone has been eating my oatmeal!”)

Yes, this is Raisin. He loves the Goldilocks story, and we’ve read more than a dozen variations of the story from the library. When I thought of Carl’s Once Upon a Time project this year (I’m not joining “challenges” so I’m renaming it to a “project”), I decided I can work “The Three Bears” into Once Upon a Time, since I’ve had it on my mind for a few months anyway.

I’m joining for the journey, so there is no “number” of fairy tales, fantasy, mythology, or folklore “required,” but I do have a few works to read or things to post about. Here is a list of my plans, in the order I may tackle them. If I only get the first on the list up before June 20, so be it. But I’m thinking this may be a fun project.

  1. A post on the best of the best children’s picture books about Goldilocks and the Three Bears; or, at least Raisin’s and my favorites that we’ve read. (I am of course limited by the local library.)
  2. Read a few Hans Christian Andersen stories and post about them. I have a lovely edition of his stories, I have a librivox audio of some of his stories on my phone, and I have a free copy of some of his stories on my kindle app. I really do want to read and write about Hans Christian Andersen! I’ve never read his stories before!
  3. The Fourth Bear by Jasper Fforde. Thanks to Amanda for pointing me to this modern retelling of The Three Bears!
  4. Tetrascroll: A Cosmic Goldilocks and the Three Bears by R. Fuller. It’s supposedly a children’s book, but many reviewers say it’s a great philosophical book for adults too. About 130 pages, I may get to it.
  5. Edith Hamilton’s Mythology (a reread I’ve been meaning to get to for a very long time).
  6. Gilgamesh. I’ve never yet read it.
  7. Finish reading my son another children’s fantasy novel. We’ve started Wizard of Oz and Mr. Popper’s Penguins, but neither book has interested him as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory did; with that one, he was glued to every page and begged for more each night. Any suggestions? He is only three years old, so if he’s not interested, we’ll of course just stick with picture books. He just enjoyed Charlie so much, though, I’d like to give him another fun chapter book experience.

If I do get through these, I’ll have read something in each category: fairy tale, fantasy, mythology, and folklore. I will not pressure myself, however, and if I only post on Goldilocks picture books I’ll consider the project a success.

I may also participate in the Quest on Screen by revisiting some favorite movies. Ever After, Ella Enchanted, Tangled (I haven’t seen it yet!). I don’t know when I’ll ever watch these movies, though, since my husband will have nothing to do with what he considers kids movies.

At any rate, that’s my “Once Upon a Time” plan. Are you joining in too?

Reviewed on March 25, 2011

About the author 

Rebecca Reid

Rebecca Reid is a homeschooling, stay-at-home mother seeking to make the journey of life-long learning fun by reading lots of good books. Rebecca Reads provides reviews of children's literature she has enjoyed with her children; nonfiction that enhances understanding of educational philosophies, history and more; and classical literature that Rebecca enjoys reading.

  • I read very little in the way of these categories so I decided not to join this year. I hope you like The Fourth Bear. It’s a fantastic book and has that wacky Fforde touch. It also retells half a dozen other nursery tales, like that of the gingerbread man. The way that man can weave all those stories in together astounds me.

    • Amanda » I don’t read much fantasy but looking at my shelves, I’ve found i have plenty that I really do want to read! And I think it’s just the right time of year for “fantastic” literature. Thanks for the suggestion for the Fforde book. I’m looking forward to reading it (after I finish DON QUIXOTE that is, I think I’m going to need it!!)

  • For the kid – try more Roald Dahl! Charlie is great; the sequel, The Great Glass Elevator, is less good and much more fantastic and weird, but you could try that too. But there are so many wonderful books – The BFG, James & the Giant Peach, Matilda, The Witches. I would say you couldn’t go wrong continuing with Dahl if he liked Charlie that much. He has good taste. 🙂

  • School keeps me from joining the challenge but I am enjoying hearing about what everyone plans on reading. I was going to suggest The Fourth Bear but you have already been turned on to it. After attending a Jasper Fforde reading recently though, I can tell you that he said he wrote that book in order to try an explain why Mama Bear’s porridge was too cold when, according to the laws of physics, Baby Bear’s porridge should have been too cold and Mama’s “just right.” Have fun!

  • The badges for this challenge are SO PRETTY and they’re halfway convincing me to join just because of that. So shallow, Emily. The only thing I have on the shelf that would qualify is the original Pinocchio, but may read that for it. Or not. We’ll see. 🙂

    Lifetime Reader and somebody else…one of the ladies from Shelf Love, perhaps? both posted very inspiring series on Gilgamesh recently, which really whet my appetite for reading it. You’ve probably seen them, but they’re very good. Lifetime Reader in particular goes into differences between English translations, helpfully.

    • Emily » I must admit that the badges are what got me to “commit” to this. I listened to an audio of Pinnochio a few years ago. It was …. surprising. I didn’t think it particularly well written and it is so didactic! I do hope you enjoy reading it though, regardless.

      Yes, I believe it was Lifetime Reader’s series that got me very interested in Gilgamesh. I’m probably going to read the translation I have here in an anthology, but maybe some day I’ll compare translations too.

  • This is one of my very favorite challenges! I LUV mythology, and I can’t wait to hear what you think of Hamilton’s book. I have it on my extremely long list of books to read someday!

    • Stephanie » I read Hamilton’s book when I was a teen and very interested in mythology. But I haven’t read it since then, so I’m really looking forward to the reread. I LOVE mythology too!

  • Thanks for joining in this year! I think your plans all sound wonderful. I hate the word “challenge” myself and may go ahead and find a way to smoothly drop it beginning with this year’s R.I.P. event in September.

    Anyway, Tangled is wonderful so I hope you get a chance to see it soon. I haven’t purchased a Disney movie for myself in forever, but I do believe I’ll be picking that up when it comes out.

  • Why not another Roald Dahl for your son? Maybe The Witches or Matilda? Love all things Roald Dahl.

    I’m joining in the challenge for the first time, and slightly confused as to what I’ll read. Pratchett, Gaiman and Tolkien seem to be the obvious suspects, so, I might just go with them to begin with, and then branch out. Can’t wait.

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