cover image Goldilocks for Dinner: A Funny Book About Manners

Goldilocks for Dinner: A Funny Book About Manners

Susan McElroy Montanari, illus. by Jake Parker. Random/Schwartz & Wade, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-399-55235-9

Montanari and Parker reprise the characters from Who’s the Grossest of Them All? and wrap up with another twist ending. Commiserating over the “wretched” young human generation’s lack of manners, Goblin suggests to Troll that they “find the rudest child of all and have it for dinner!” Concealing their plan, they engage fairy tale favorites in conversation and coax a snotty Goldilocks to Goblin’s cottage, where it’s revealed—too late for Goldilocks, who flees when she thinks she hears that she’s on the menu—that the intention of having her dine with them was to teach her table manners. They’re “the key to proper behavior,” Goblin says as Troll removes one of the fancy place settings. The lighthearted premise is somewhat undone by the friends’ intent to lure unsuspecting children home, but Parker’s cartoons have a genial oversize feel, with flat colors and halftone textures that feel like vintage Sunday comics. Ages 4–8. (July)