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Sylvia Locke and the Three Bears (Tairy Fails Book 1) by David Horn (Book Review)

RED ALERT FOR FAIRY TALE LAND: Sylvia Locke is out and ready to cause mischief.

Once upon a time in Fairy Tale Land, there lived a very bad girl indeed. Sylvia Locke may have been abandoned by her adventuring parents but that’s no excuse for being mean to her loving grandparents, rude to everyone at school, and even bullying rare magical creatures. Right?

One day, when out on a break-and-enter job at the Bear family’s house, Sylvia happens upon a magical mirror that turns out to be more than she bargained for. Could even a kid like Sylvia find a friend? Could some warm and fuzzies change her heart?

The first book in Tairy Fails, a modern fractured fairy tale humor series that will have elementary school kids and early chapter book readers screaming with laughter.

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from Reedsy Discovery.  I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.


Goldilocks and the Three Bears is a well-known fairytale. Sylvia Locke and the Three Bears have some of the same characters, and similar moments play out, but this story is far more entertaining than the classic. Sylvia never claims to be a sweet, mild-mannered child. Everyone in Farmington would agree with her assessment, too. Sylvia loves having the loudest voice in the room, is quite mischievous, and enjoys bending the rules. She also has a habit of putting her wants and needs before others. It’s her need for a particular brand of sugary cereal that sets in motion a series of comedic events. 

Sylvia’s sweet tooth and rumbling belly lead her to the neighbor’s house, the famous little bears. As Sylvia waits for her neighbors to leave, she overhears them discussing Goldilocks and how they moved to this village because of that person. This mysterious girl was why the bears moved to the town and installed the security system. Kids will laugh when they see the security measures in action. 

Sylvia gets more than she bargained for when she enters through a window. She also realizes she is not alone in the house. Without spilling too much of the comedic moments, I will talk briefly about the bear in the magic mirror. Unlike the magic mirror person from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the magic mirror bear brings the funny. I cackled when he tried to kick Sylvia back after she kicked his frame. His ghostly antics were a hoot, too. If the text doesn’t make you chuckle, the hilarious illustrations will. Especially the one where Sylvia tests mirror bear’s I’m unbreakable theory. BTW: He is not really unbreakable, but I’ll keep his kryptonite a secret. He also has a real name, but you’ll need to read this comical fairytale to discover what it is. 

As I stated above, Sylvia’s journey does have some semblance to Goldilocks’s time in the bears’ previous home. Silver streak-haired Sylvia does test things, looking for what screams just right. Did Sylvia escape the house before the family returns, or does she get caught like Goldilocks? Did she ever eat her Cookie Crunchies? Read the book and find out! 

The recommended reading age is 6-10. While that is a great age range, I would even introduce the story to pre-k students. The story is simple to understand, so they should be able to follow the plot and find the drawings funny. Everyone will enjoy watching Sylvia get into sticky situations, watching her and the mirror bear interact, and the surprise introduction of the ninja. Wait until you see the ninja sketch! It’s hilarious! 

The story ends by answering a burning question that puzzled Sylvia, her grandparents, and the whole town: What happened to Sylvia’s parents? I’ll be on the lookout for book two in the Tairy Fails series, and I know once your family and class read this story, they will be, too.


Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤
(Deserves more than five hearts!)

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Meet the Author

David Horn lives in New Jersey with his wife, two daughters, and a funny dog named Trixie. He is the author of the popular Eudora Space Kid early reader humorous sci-fi chapter book series. He enjoys making kids laugh.

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