Goldilocks and her dog, Tiddles, decide to go and hunt for the house they visited before with the chairs, and the porridge, and the bears, but on the way, they hear the sea: ‘Pershooo, persheee, I am the sea…’ a rhyme in six lines that is repeated throughout the book, and they follow the sound to the beach, where they enter a cave. They find three chairs shaped like fish, and three bowls of seaweed, and although, unlike the bear story, there are no contrasting problems (too hot, too cold, just right etc); two chairs are too slimy and slippery, (Yerchhh!) but one is just right (her legs fit better on the smallest chair), two bowls of seaweed are too smelly, though the smallest one is fine so they eat it all up, and finally there are whelk shell beds, where the sound of the sea (‘pershooo, persheee…’) is too loud in two of them, but just at the right level in the smallest one, so Goldilocks and Tiddles go to sleep in it.
They hear the owners as they return: ‘Who’s been sitting in my chair?’ before they see a baby crocodile, and behind the baby crocodile a bigger crocodile… (the reader sharing this book with children can really build up the drama here) and of course the biggest crocodile is wearing a pair of blue crocs! They are very fierce, and Snap! at Goldilocks and Tiddles, who ‘run along the long, long, long beach, through the deep, dark woods and, and, and, back home’. As Goldilocks (and Tiddles) go to sleep in her own bed, cuddling a toy crocodile and with a whelk shell on her bedside table, (did it really happen?) she can still hear the sea poem…
This is a delightful follow-up to the Three Bears version, with all Michael Rosen’s skill with words, and a few nods to We’re going on a Bear Hunt at the beginning and at the end. David Melling’s excellent illustrations add humour: see Tiddles attempting to carry a very worried-looking Goldilocks out of the cave! The décor in the crocodiles’ cave is very inventive, and children may enjoy spotting the details, like the mobile consisting of fish skeletons.
This beautifully produced book will be great to read aloud to children, and good fun will be had by all.