cover image Who is It?

Who is It?

Sally Grindley. Peachtree Publishers, $16.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-56145-224-8

Here's a nifty idea from a British team: take four stories from the fairy-tale canon--Goldilocks, Little Red Riding Hood, Three Billy Goats Gruff and Jack and the Beanstalk--and turn them into riddles, with an added gotcha! at the punch line for a soup on of excitement. For example, after giving a trio of clues (involving a mysterious interloper with only her blond tresses visible, a bowl of porridge, a chair and a bed), Grindley asks, ""Who is it?"" A turn of the page reveals, ""It's Goldilocks!/ Wake up, Goldilocks. The Bears are after you!"" Beardshaw works in dense, jewel-toned acrylics and pastels to create full-bleed illustrations, some cropped for dramatic effect. She plants visual clues with her tongue firmly in her cheek: Goldilocks is first seen as a pair of pigtails, while Jack is a pair of high-tops. A final riddle at book's end, written in mock ominous tones, makes the reader the focal point of the puzzler (""Someone's watching you read this book. Someone can't wait till you reach the last page"") and should induce a cascade of giggles. Ages 2-6. (Sept.)