cover image Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Lauren Child, , photos. by Polly Borland, sets by Emily L. Jenkins. . Disney-Hyperion, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-4231-1998-2

A handmade doll, a miniature forest cottage and dozens of tiny handcrafted accessories make this photographed story, in the vein of Child and Borland's The Princess and the Pea , a temptation for toy lovers of all ages. In Child's chatty retelling—which can be oddly removed in feeling from the photographs—Goldilocks strays into the bears' cottage, helps herself to porridge (“Well, never mind, there are two more bowls. They can share. I would share if it were my porridge”), misbehaves and falls asleep, narrowly escaping out the window when the bears discover her in Small Bear's bed. The meticulousness with which Borland and Jenkins have prepared the sets astonishes; the little Aga cooker and rustic furniture would delight Martha Stewart, the candles are lit and the porridge is real. The Goldilocks doll's immobile face and stiff-jointed poses impart a kind of spookiness to the title character, and Father Bear's toothy snarl may startle younger children. But many more should be drawn in and spend hours poring over the myriad details. Ages 5–up. (Aug.)