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THE GOLDILOCKS VARIATIONS by Allan Ahlberg Kirkus Star


by Allan Ahlberg & illustrated by Jessica Ahlberg

Age Range: 5 - 9

Pub Date: Oct. 23rd, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-7636-6268-4
Publisher: Candlewick

A familiar old tale is taken for a terrific spin with more bears, three pigs, assorted woodland animals, space aliens, additional young cast members (including one in a red hood) and lots and lots of sticky buns.

Being a “cheeky girl,” Goldilocks thinks nothing of following up her destructive visit to the Three Bears’ cottage by messing around in the seemingly similar “cottage”—which expands to a tall apartment house with the pull of a tab—of the 33 Bears. Then, in 2076, inviting herself into the trood (spaceship) of the Three Bliim for a taste of spootz (“porridge, sort of”) and a nap in the smallest woodootog (bed). In further outings, Goldilocks encounters dishes and other furnishings with minds of their own, plays lead in a theatrical romp presented in an inset booklet containing a script and a pop-up stage, and at last finds a number of unexpected houseguests sleeping in her bed. The very small, very finely drawn figures and households insist on (and reward) close looks, and they are enhanced by an array of surprises revealed beneath flaps or through die-cut windows.

The frequently distributed buns aren’t all that’s delicious in this exhilarating suite of variations on a classic. (Pop-up/fractured fairy tale. 5-9)