FICTION

Little Red Reading Hood and the Misread Wolf

Running Pr. Jul. 2019. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780762492664.
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Gr 1-3–“She loved red. She loved reading. And she loved the special hood her grandma had made.” And so when Grandma isn’t feeling well, Little Red Reading Hood packs up a treat and sets out on the familiar journey. “Luckily, Red had read what to do if you encounter a wolf.” He’s persistent, and Red scares him off twice. “‘Oh forget it,’ said the wolf as he slinked away.” Moving along, Red knows from her reading what to do when a robin asks where she’s going and even “what to do if you encounter a wolf dressed as a grandparent.” It turns out, though, that she has misread the wolf as he pounces on her gift for Grandma. He’s not really a threat, after all. “Oh that new book smell!...It’s my favorite.” Well, the wolf has to return Grandma, and that other traditional character—the axe wielding fellow who usually kills the wolf—has to show up, too. He charges through the door just as Red, the wolf, and Grandma are about to sit down and read: “And luckily...they all loved books.” Campana’s expressive comic drawings are adept in conveying characters, actions, and settings. Some readers familiar with the old tale will chuckle at the author’s fractured retelling. Others may find it a pretty tame substitute. Adults leery of fairy tale violence may welcome it, and it might serve as a lesson in the value of reading.
VERDICT  A fairy tale variant worth adding to most collections.

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