cover image Goatilocks and the Three Bears

Goatilocks and the Three Bears

Erica S. Perl, illus. by Arthur Howard. S&S/Beach Lane, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4424-0168-6

Goldilocks as a goat? It’s unlikely casting, but Perl (Chicken Butt!) and Howard (Mr. Putter and Tabby) pull it off with abundant good humor. Perl’s conversational prose acknowledges readers’ familiarity with the storyline: “When the bears went out for a walk one morning... well, you can probably guess what Goldilocks did.” It’s not too outrageous that Goatilocks eats the spoon along with Baby Bear’s porridge (the bowl soon disappears, as well), but what really brings the laughs is that Goatilocks also eats Baby Bear’s chair and bed after finding them “just right.” The story’s colloquial tone (“Hey, where’s my chair?” complains Baby Bear) and Howard’s (Mr. Putter and Tabby) freewheeling watercolors create a rollicking atmosphere. Goatilocks has expressive googly eyes, pink ears, and a polka-dot bow around her neck, while the bears, with their broad, round features, could have stepped out of a recent Charmin ad. The ending plays on Goatilocks’s indiscriminating appetite, and kids won’t be surprised by what happens to the flowers she brings the bears in apology. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Carrie Hannigan, Hannigan Salky Getzler. (June)