The characters, both good and evil, are perfectly written for tween readers. Charlotte is the ideal companion and gives Goldilocks someone to narrate her plans to. The new friends she makes, such as wise Patty, are fun and endearing. The questions of whether Goldilocks will prevail against the tough landlady and dodge the Kid-Snatcher add suspense that will keep young readers hooked but not scared. This isn’t a comedy, but the frequent dashes of dark humor keep the story from getting too intense. Unfortunately, Baykovska’s chapter-head sketches are bland, but the writing is vibrant enough to stand alone.
Putting a Nancy Drew twist on the tale of Goldilocks and the three bears, Trine adds adventure, mystery, friends, and villains, telling an intriguing story of why Goldilocks was at the bears’ house and what happened after she ran away. Though Goldilocks faces real-life fears and troubles such as potential homelessness, losing a parent, stranger danger, and tales of giant spiders in the dark forest, the tone stays light, drawing readers into the new layers of an old story.
Takeaway: Older children will want to investigate right alongside this tough, smart, noir-influenced version of Goldilocks and her clever friends.
Great for fans of Great for fans of Liesl Shurtliff’s Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A