Cover image for Somebody and the three Blairs
Somebody and the three Blairs
Tolhurst, Marilyn.
Personal Author:
First American edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Orchard Books, 1991.
In a reversal of the Goldilocks story, a bear explores the home of the three Blairs while they are out.
Reading Level:
360 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 2.2 0.5 7157.

Reading Counts RC K-2 2.1 1 Quiz: 10660 Guided reading level: J.
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



These collaborators offer a vivacious version of the classic tale. . . . The up-to-date details will provoke chuckles, as when Somebody holds a flexible shower nozzle over his head and realizes, 'This rain is too hot.' This book, however, is just right.--Publishers Weekly.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 3-5. A lighthearted reversal of the Gold~ilocks story. While Mr. Blair, Mrs. Blair, and Baby Blair are in the park feeding ducks, Somebody (a bear cub) wanders into their house. Somebody helps himself to breakfast, makes several interesting messes, and goes to sleep in the baby's crib. On their return, Mr. and Mrs. Blair are predictably dismayed, wandering from room to room with mouths frozen open in astonishment. Baby Blair, however, finds the situation delightful and invites Somebody to come back and play again tomorrow. The sly humor of Tolhurst's simple text is well matched by Abel's witty pictures in pen and pastel watercolor. Especially funny are Somebody's reactions to common household items, such as things found in a bathroom: "This rain is too hot," said Somebody (while standing in the shower); "This pond is too small," said Somebody (peering into the toilet); "But this stream is just right" (spoken while slurping water from an overflowing sink). A topsy-turvy version of an old favorite that will find a delighted audience among the young. ~--Leone McDermott

Publisher's Weekly Review

The three Blairs--humans all--go for a walk, and Somebody--looking mighty like a bear--makes himself right at home in their cozy domicile. In their picture book debut, these collaborators offer a vivacious version of the classic tale. The book's crisp, deceptively simple design features a pleasing symmetry (much of the cheery artwork is arranged in threes on the verso pages) and ample white space. The pink-cheeked Blairs seem delightfully average, with the possible exception of Baby Blair, who has an endearing way of getting to the heart of things. Planning their outing, Baby exclaims, ``Feeda ducks''; surveying the post-bruin mess, the wise toddler cries, ``Naughty!'' (He is the first, in fact, to spot the sleeping intruder: ``Issa big teddy bear.'') The up-to-date details will provoke chuckles, as when Somebody holds a flexible shower nozzle over his head and realizes, ``This rain is too hot.'' This book, however, is just right. Ages 3-6. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 2-- In this satirical send-up of the Goldilocks tale, Somebody is a bear who rampages through the Blair family's house while they are out. Somebody raids the pantry, slightly twisting the usual rejections of the food: ``too dry, too noisy, just right.'' The hand-held shower is too hot, the toilet is a pond that is too small, but the stream of water at the sink is just right. Somebody devastates the house far worse than Goldilocks ever did, and falls asleep in Baby Blair's crib. He escapes down the drainpipe when the Blairs return, but Baby Blair invites him back to play. Abel's paste cartoons are jolly, with red-cheeked Blairs and a cuddly Somebody. Figures are laid against large white backgrounds with additional details present only occasionally. This uncluttered look is effective, lending emphasis to the ritual plot elements. Children who have overdosed on Goldilocks will love this version. Brinton Turkle's Deep in the Forest (Dutton, 1976) is a straightforward retelling of the story with the role reversal the only differing component. Tolhurst's version is a bit more sophisticated with its urban setting, and Abel adds a sly touch of humor in the worried expressions on the faces of Mr. and Mrs. Blair while Baby enters fully into the enjoyment of mess, damage, and naughtiness. So will readers, who will also appreciate the uncommon stimulation of literary allusion. --Ruth Semrau, Lovejoy School, Allen, TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.