Review Blog

Oct 16 2014

Little Red Riding Hood by Charles Perrault, retold by Margrete Lamond

cover image

Ill. by Anna Pignataro. Little Hare Books, 2014. ISBN 9781921894879
(Age: 4+) Fairy Tales, Little Red Riding Hood. As the heading, 'Once upon a timeless tale' is above the title on the front cover, I hope there are more of these in the pipeline. The unusual illustrations and lively retelling of this well known story, will enthrall a new generation of readers.
Many people will know the outline of the tale of a young girl taking a basket to her grandmother in the forest and of the wolf stalking her as she goes. But the detail given by this author enlarges the character of the heroine, so proud of her cape that she wears it all day long. The wolf engages the young girl in conversation as she walks through the forest completely unaware of the danger she is in. The final scenes with the wolf eating both Gran and the girl then lying in a snoring stupour will make the readers laugh at the silly wolf, laying himself open to retribution by the passing woodsman. All ends happily except for the wolf as the stones put into the belly replacing the two he has eaten, pull him over the edge of the well and he drowns. A fitting end to the scurrilous wolf.
Children will love to read of the wolf and his sticky end, and enjoy looking at the detailed drawings adding to the tale. Pignataro has drawn several pages in a quilt like fashion, echoing Grandmother's bed quilt, and the image of Red Riding Hood too is fascinating, with her bright red cheeks and long plaits. I love the image of the nonchalant wolf almost leaning up against the tree in his efforts to deceive the girl in the forest.
The edition echoes an older style of publishing and will appeal to younger readers with its half binding, small size and hard cover.
Fran Knight

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