Little Red

illus. by Bethan Woollvin. 32p. Peachtree. Apr. 2016. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781561459179.
K-Gr 2—Little Red is one tough cookie. When a menacing wolf blocks the path to her grandmother's house, she looks him in the eye, answers his questions, and continues on her journey. The wolf "might have scared some little girls. But not this little girl." This phrase is repeated throughout the story. Woollvin's street-smart character cannot be fooled by the wolf, even when he dresses up as her grandma. Little Red "wasn't fooled for a minute." The familiar phrases of "Oh, Grandma! What big ears you have" and "What big ears and teeth you have" are included in this story, but the little girl doesn't wait for a woodsman to save her. She dispatches the wolf herself with an axe that she carries into the cabin. The dark humor continues to the end when readers see Little Red journeying home not in her red cape but in a shaggy wolfskin. The gouache and digital illustrations were made with black, gray, and red only. The close-ups of the wolf's face and Little Red's eyes add a sense of fright to the story. There is no bloodshed on the pages, but easily scared children might not like a couple of the illustrations.
VERDICT This is how fairy tales were meant to be told.

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