cover image Goldilocks


Dom DeLuise. Simon & Schuster, $16 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-671-74690-2

In yet another regrettable case of celebrity-turned-children's-book-author, DeLuise tinkers with a perfectly good fairy tale and comes up with a wise-cracking, offensive remake. Brimming with treacly one-liners and pseudo-sassy asides (``Let me put it this way--she was a girl who just wouldn't take no for an answer''), this travesty finds the bear family dining on soup instead of porridge-- pasta e fagioli , no less, as Mama Bear is ``a Julia Childs sic fan.'' Goldilocks is an insufferable prig who, in a made-for-TV ending, manages to worm her way back into the Bears' affections (after contritely doing her homework as punishment, of course) and returns to visit them and ``have a good laugh about the interesting way they had met.'' DeLuise should stick with Candid Camera. Santoro has done better work than is on view here--and surely will again. His illustrations fairly wag their tails in an effort to please, but their saccharine, commercial execution is better suited to greeting cards. Any buyer lured by the author's celebrity status--and undoubtedly disappointed with this purchase--can take heart, though, as the book has one redeeming feature: a dynamite recipe for corn muffins is included. Ages 3-6. (Aug.)