Rubia and the Three Osos by Susan Middleton Elya, Ill. by Melissa Sweet

Rubia and the Three Osos by Susan Middleton Elya, Ill. by Melissa Sweet


Publishing: Disney/Hyperion, New York, 2010

Description: This is an updated and somewhat Hispanic version of Goldilocks and the three bears. It is told in Spanglish-mostly in English with a few Spanish words thrown in. The only difference is that when Rubia (Goldilocks) runs away from the Bears’ cottage, she goes home and makes soup to replace what she stole and comes back to make amends with the bears. There is a glossary at the end with all of the Spanish words.

Programming: Connections to Spanish language, especially vocabulary, try to have students discern the moral of the tale,

Seven Blind Mice by Ed Young

Seven Blind Mice by Ed Young


Publishing: Philomel, New York, 1992.

Awards: Caldecott Honor

Description: Seven blind mice encounter a new object, and each day a different one tries to discern what the object is. They each come up with different answers (a cliff, a rope, a spear, a pillar) and argue about which it is. Finally, the last mouse explores the whole object and discovers that the object is all of these things and none of these things: it is an elephant. Young states that the moral is: “Knowing in part may make a fine tale, but wisdom comes from seeing the whole.”

Programming: I think it would be fun to do a sensory activity (possibly before reading the story). This might be filling easter eggs or small containers with different objects and having students guess what is in them (sand, flour, pebbles, etc), or it might be having them be blindfolded and reaching in to touch something and guess what it is. After the story, students could discuss what they think the moral means, and maybe apply it to some situations.

Lon Po Po by Ed Young

Lon Po Po by Ed Young


Publishing: Philomel Books, New York, 1989

Awards: Caldecott Medal Winner

Description: Lon Po Po is a tale similar to Little Red Riding Hood. Three sisters, Shang, Tao, and Paotze are left alone while their mother journeys to visit their grandmother. While they are gone, a wolf knocks on the door, masquerading at the girls’ grandmother, or Po Po. The girls figure out the ruse and out-smart the wolf. The illustrations in this book are an impressionist style, and are often divided into long vertical panels which mimic oriental art.

Programming: I think this would be great for a multicultural day, because I don’t think many children realize that similar tales exist in many cultures. It would be interesting to read one of Paul Zelinsky’s fairy tales (such as this one: and compare the two.