With Red, Jed Alexander presented his first inverted fairy tale: a wolf tries to head off a red-cloaked girl as she walks through the woods, à la "Little Red Riding Hood," although it's really just a ruse to stop her from spoiling a surprise party in her honor. In Red's likewise wordless follow-up, Gold, it's "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" that gets reworked, and the big reveal is both a gotcha and a consciousness-raiser.

Gold begins with a bear family of three leaving their townhouse and setting off on their bikes. On the next page, a Black girl gets off a school bus. She walks to and enters the house, drops her belongings on the floor and proceeds to the kitchen, where she starts cooking something that could pass for porridge. The bears return to find the girl's things on the floor, and readers will tense for a confrontation. But what's this? The bears' faces betray delight at the aroma of food and the sight of the girl napping on the couch: turns out she's a member of their family.

Once again, Alexander limits his palette to black and white plus the odd accent color, in this case gold, which shades the bears' scarves, the girl's coat and so on--but not, it should be noted, her hair. The restricted palette serves Gold's message well. The concluding spread shows the loving family of four in a sleeping heap on the couch, the gold in the girl's clothing the only difference in color. --Nell Beram, freelance writer and YA author

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