When I was asked if I would review this book I must admit on first glance at the title I did wonder what I was getting myself into. A strange mix between aliens and fairytales. However after reading the first paragraph I realized that actually this does work and is really quite fun. The characters are loosely based on the fairy tale but mainly it just happens to be that the girls nickname is Goldilocks and the three bears that she and her friend James meet in the woods can talk American Bear Language (ABL). The story is set in 2112 and although it is a children’s story does seem to be quite timely for 2012. The world is a very different place after a war with the Smots, humans are now vegetarian and beginning to make friends with animals and the children are have extra-sensory perception. In the tradition of Enid Blyton, Goldilocks, James and Baby Bear set up their own secret club in the local library and set about saving the world from the Smots!
There are some interesting asides in the book, Baby Bear stutters and is taught to sing to help his stuttering, The bear family begins to be more accepted by humans and there is a general feeling of friendship and working together.
One part of the plot includes the children fundraising to buy a decommissioned laser gun At first I was concerned about this as it seemed to send out the wrong message however later on the story makes it clear that all guns even decommissioned guns can be very dangerous if they fall into the wrong hands.
There are some really strong female characters in the story, Goldilocks is described as being the fastest runner in the class, is very clever as she speaks several foreign languages studies interpersonal communication and ESP. James is described as quiet and detached at school but is actually a science genius
Over all this is a fun quirky story with lots of interesting elements which I think would really fire up kids imagination I would say this chapter book is aimed at 7- 10 year olds to read alone but would also work well read aloud in episodes.
In the interest of disclosure I received a free copy of this book from the publisher Beaver’s Pond