Super Red Riding Hood

illus. by Claudia Dávila. 32p. Kids Can. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781771380201.
K-Gr 2—A feisty, red-caped, would-be superhero named Ruby stars in this adaptation of the "Red Riding Hood" story. In addition to loving all things red, Ruby goes out of her way to help anyone or thing that needs her aid. Her mom suggests that the rambunctious superhero do some raspberry picking in the woods. With her snack box full of berries, who should she run into? Yep. A wolf. After a brief scramble and stand-off, Ruby discovers that the wolf is simply hungry and, like a good superhero, she shares her raspberries. Whether children are familiar with the folktale or not, they will be delighted by the strong heroine who stands up for herself. The full-color artwork, rendered in Photoshop, has a touch of 1950s retro style about it and is full of action and multiple perspectives. The longer text suggests it may be most useful for one-on-one sharing or independent reading by older children. Early elementary children will be brave enough to experience the adventure on their own and savvy enough to appreciate Ruby's courage and compassion.—Marge Loch-Wouters, La Crosse Public Library, WI
In this loose "Little Red Riding Hood" send-up, Ruby becomes the titular crusader when she dons her red cloak. Her heroism includes moving an underfoot snail to safety and using intellect and kindness to calm a menacing wolf. The idea is that heroism doesn't require superpowers--fair enough, but it's too bad the storytelling is so shapeless and the art so uninteresting.

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