From 2010-2012, I wrote a blog called Spine Label. At the time, I was working towards my master's degree in library science, as well as working in a public library (primarily in youth services). Spine Label was where I reviewed books, discussed programs I was implementing at my library, and occasionally wrote about library science more broadly. Spine Label is no longer online; the domain name was my maiden name and it didn't make a whole lot of sense to keep it, particularly once I left my public library job. Happily, I still have access the contents of the blog, which my husband is fond of saying is the best thing I've ever written (I'm not sure what that means for everything I've worked on since then, but I'm going with it). Since I'm writing about children's literature again, I thought it would be nice to revisit the reviews that were once posted on Spine Label, as a way of both looking at backlist titles as well as giving the reviews a proper home on the Internet again. It's worth noting that these reviews were written from the perspective of a public librarian and not necessarily the perspective of a parent.
I am probably guaranteed to love any picture book with woodgrain-patterned endpapers, but this one is certainly worthy of my affection. The story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears is familiar to everyone, but this bilingual version by Susan Middleton Elya is a welcome addition to the shelf. Told in bouncy, rhyming couplets, the story has a natural flow, from Rubia chancing upon the Bears’ house to realizing she’s made a very big mistake. Elya has given Rubia a conscience, and her ending to the tale is very satisfying. The mixed-media illustrations are extremely charming (Papa Bear sports houndstooth pants). Spanish words are highlighted in a different font, and a glossary at the back provides definitions and a pronunciation key.