Title: #Goldilocks: A Hashtag Cautionary Tale
Author: Jeanne Willis
Illustrator: Tony Ross
Publisher: Andersen Press
Genre: Children’s picture book
Book format: Paperback
Description: At first, everyone loves Goldilocks’s hilarious online posts. But in her desperation to get more likes, more laughs and more hits, she crosses the line to snap some selfies, leaving her golden reputation in tatters…
*Free copy provided by publisher for review…
Review: This is a brilliant picture book with a well told story and a good message about online safety. ‘#Goldilocks A Hashtag Cautionary Tale’ is about A4ish in size and is filled with thick glossy pages of illustrations and text. Goldilocks wants to be popular, she wants everyone to like the pictures she puts up on Instagram, so she starts taking pictures of things that make everyone laugh. But soon her followers aren’t interested in her pictures anymore and to keep them looking she starts to do more daring things to get likes. But what will happen when she dares to do something in the house of the three bears?
This is a really fun retelling of the Goldilocks story, beginning with Goldilocks desperate for more attention and ‘likes’. The whole story is told in a constant rhyme which I really enjoyed as it really made the whole story both more fun and the message more clear to understand. Like many young people (and older people too!) Goldilocks becomes desperate to be liked on Instagram so she takes pictures of as many things as possible. But when she heads over to the house where the three bears live, she causes a lot of damage, just like in the original tale, and decides to share that damage by taking pictures, selfies, and sharing them for the whole world to see…including three bears.
I like the fact that this story is cautioning children against being so free and open to taking pictures of themselves or their lives and sharing everything online. The bears know who caused all the damage to their home precisely because Goldilocks took selfies when doing them and in the end her actions catch up to her. The story is obviously trying to warn children about the many dangers of sharing too much personal information online (especially selfie pictures) as you never know who is watching or what trouble you could be in. While the story features the original tale Goldilocks, the ending is different and a striking one which I liked. I have seen a reviewer say they didn’t like the shock ending, but I don’t think it’s that shocking and instead it’s a great ending that again warns kids of the dangers of sharing online without sounding too scary.
The ending is good, it rhymes so well and I will add a spoiler to say that Goldilocks does face punishment for what she did, but I like the added part that points out that things sent out online don’t always go away. That message is one that children really do need to understand in this world today where so many people are so open to sharing their entire lives online. The pictures are really good, I actually like the style of illustration, it’s very engaging, fun and I like the way the bears look. The funny images do make the story more all the more fun to read.
I really do like this book, the rhyme is really good and fun and engaging all on its own, and the illustrations give a fun feel to the whole tale, but it’s the message behind the story that really makes me like this book so much. Children are taught to be careful about sharing too much online, but it’s done in a great and fun way using the traditional Goldilocks story. The book feels so fun to read on its own, and despite the obvious safety message (which is good), it’s still ultimately just a fun new take on the Goldilocks story and one I have really enjoyed.
What do you think of this book? Do you think it’s a good idea to educate children on how to be safe when using certain apps via books like this? Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂