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The Cottage in the Woods


The Cottage in the Woods

Nearly everyone knows the story of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.” But, do you know what happened before Goldilocks got to the Bears’ house? Do you really know anything about the Bears or what they did for a living? Well, all of your questions are answered in this definitive book, told from the perspective of Ursula, a governess in the Bear household (in this version, they are the Vaughns). The story is not at all what you might expect.

The book opens with Ursula telling the reader the story of what really happened in that house. She gives us the inside scoop of just how and why Goldilocks (not her real name) was in the Bears’ house and what happened to her after she was discovered sleeping in Baby Bear’s bed (in this book, he is called Teddy). I can’t give the secret away, but I can tell you she didn’t run away from the house.

Author Katherine Coville writes with witty humor and a healthy dose of truth. 

Ursula is a young bear who has lost her mother and goes to teach for her father’s friends’ son, Teddy. Ursula is a very intelligent, resourceful bear, but her limits on tested on many occasion. She must deal with a jealous, vindictive nurse who has been with Teddy since his birth. She must cope with the loneliness she feels about being away from home. She must face her fears of the dark. And, she must prove she is a competent caregiver even though she is often put in nearly impossible situations through no fault of her own. Through all her trials and tribulations, Ursula maintains a positive disposition and manages to tell us what really happened when Goldilocks came to the Vaughn’s house.

THE COTTAGE IN THE WOODS is a story of love, hope, prejudice, jealousy and faith, and author Katherine Coville writes with witty humor and a healthy dose of truth. There are enough twists and turns to satisfy just about anyone, and the book features fun characters from many well-known children’s fairy tales and nursery rhymes, including Old Mother Hubbard, Mrs. Shoe and Edgar Pig (the only surviving sibling from the story). Every once in a while you read a book that leaves a lasting impression on you; this is one such book.  

Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin on February 17, 2015

The Cottage in the Woods
by Katherine Coville