Dusty Locks and the Three Bears


By Susan Lowell, illustrated by Randy Cecil

Henry Holt, 2001

One day, while their red-hot beans were cooling in their three dishes, the bears went out for a walk. And just as soon as they turned their grizzly backs, something strange came blowing out of the woods.

It’s hard to improve on the original, but this way out West interpretation of Goldilocks and the three bears is funnier than a [insert appropriate metaphor here – ie,  “a greased pig tryin’ to square dance up a flag pole?”]  Stead porridge, them bears eat blazin’ hot beans.  And crusty, skunky Dusty Locks is so named because she hasn’t “had a bath in a month of Sundays.” Needless to say, Trouble is her middle name. Extra points for the hilarious last page, in which a cranky (but finally clean!) Dusty, dressed like a li’l cowgirl, is dragged into town by her mama – and spotted by a keen-eyed Baby Bear.

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