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Betsy Red Hoodie

Betsy Red Hoodie

by Gail Carson Levine

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Betsy is finally old enough to take cupcakes to Grandma all by herself—with the company of her faithful sheep, of course. And although wolves aren’t good for grandmas, Betsy lets her best friend, Zimmo, come along too. But will Zimmo’s wolfish instincts make Grandma the tasty treat instead?

In her second picture book starring the


Betsy is finally old enough to take cupcakes to Grandma all by herself—with the company of her faithful sheep, of course. And although wolves aren’t good for grandmas, Betsy lets her best friend, Zimmo, come along too. But will Zimmo’s wolfish instincts make Grandma the tasty treat instead?

In her second picture book starring the feisty young shepherd Betsy, Newbery Honor author Gail Carson Levine teams up once again with Scott Nash to put a hilarious twist on an old favorite. This reimagining of Little Red Riding Hood is sure to delight readers from little lambs to cupcake-loving grandmas.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this uproarious adaptation, a companion to Betsy Who Cried Wolf! Betsy, along with her flock of opinionated sheep, sets out to bring cupcakes to Grandma. Betsy also brings fellow shepherd Zimmo the wolf, ignoring her friends' warnings. But when Zimmo disappears, Betsy begins to lose faith in her friend and in her ability to lead the talkative, troublesome sheep. Nash and Levine's twist ending ensures a happy ending, and the sheep's speech bubble cacophony ("The moral is: Wolves are good for grandmas." "Some wolves are grandmas." "Some books never end") provides an entertaining backdrop to a surprisingly tense story. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)
ALA Booklist
“There’s a glow and a flow to the pictures that add shine to the story.”
The Horn Book
“Nash stages the shenanigans in an attractive country landscape, supporting Levine’s light tone with comical pen drawings of the round-faced, energetic Betsy. Good read-aloud fun.”
“Levine’s well-paced, straightforward storytelling plays nicely against the broad comedy in Nash’s color-washed ink drawings. Full of action, zaniness, and a few metamoments in which characters crawl out of the story, this makes a good companion to David Wiesner’s similarly fractured THE THREE PIGS (2001).”
Children's Literature - Cynthia Levinson
A re-imagined Little Red Riding Hood, this picture book flaunts wisecracking sheep, a wolf/shepherd who may or may not be acting suspiciously, a doubting hunter, several grandmas in various forms, and Betsy, the hip reincarnation of the classic fairytale character. In this story, Betsy's mom tells her to take cupcakes to her grandma. Pleased to be considered old enough to go by herself, Betsy first rounds up the sheep, all of whom are wearing boots and caps and some of whom carry guitars or backpacks. Zimmo, the wolf, begs to come, too. The hunter warns Betsy that the wolf might eat her grandma. Just as Betsy is about to defend him, Zimmo dashes ahead. IS he going to eat Grandma? Betsy tries to hurry the sheep, but they hang around trading puns, hiding in trees, refusing to budge in a rainstorm, sliding gleefully down a muddy hill—generally, procrastinating until they might be too late. As Betsy finally dashes into Grandma's house, her mother, the hunter, her grandma, and even Zimmo's grandma wish her happy birthday. The colorful, kooky illustrations appropriately supplement this cockeyed tale. While this book's unorthodox storyline and talkative, distracting sheep are likely to amuse older readers, younger readers might get confused. Reviewer: Cynthia Levinson
School Library Journal
Gr 2–4—Betsy, the trustworthy shepherd introduced in Betsy Who Cried Wolf (HarperCollins, 2002), and Zimmo, the wolf who reinvented himself after demonstrating his predilection for herding sheep instead of eating them, are together again. It is Betsy's birthday, and she is allowed to go to her grandmother's house by herself to deliver cupcakes. She decides to take the sheep, and Zimmo begs to come along. Betsy concedes, but her instincts warn her that wolves and grandmas don't mix. When Zimmo runs ahead, suspicions surge, and she lets her fears get the best of her. The journey becomes an uphill climb in the mud for Betsy with her herd slipping and sliding, but ends in a sweet surprise. Nash's illustrations, steeped in comic tradition but heavily crosshatched, exhibit realism reminiscent of David Macaulay's work. The sheep sport backpacks and model an assortment of fashion accessories—hats, boots, even guitars. The wry humor of the herd, who crack jokes and banter in speech bubbles alongside the narrative, will appeal to children and lends comic relief to the story of a difficult journey. Sheep act like birds (and people), wolves act like people (and grandmas), and there's even a joke that Betsy's birthday wish is to become a sheep someday, implying a free-to-be-you-an-me vision of identity and parodying the heavily analyzed wolf-dressed-as-grandmother motif of the original tale.—Sara Lissa Paulson, American Sign Language and English Lower School PS 347, New York City
Kirkus Reviews
Betsy's second adventure finds her charged with taking some goodies to Grandma. The sheep she can bring along, but what about Zimmo the wolf, her fellow shepherd? Wolves have a bad reputation when it comes to grandmas. Zimmo's pleading works, and Betsy ignores the warnings that follow their entourage through town...but could it be the naysayers were right? When Zimmo dashes off ahead of the flock, Betsy picks up the pace so as to save Grandma, but her path is strewn with obstacles—a lost lamb, a rainstorm, a muddy slope. Will she be able to save Grandma in time, or is Grandma really not in any danger? Along the way, Levine's sassy flock of wisecracking sheep keep up the comments, their crazy un-sheeplike antics duly recorded in the artwork. Nash's palette is more subdued and makes greater use of inked details than in Betsy Who Cried Wolf! (2003), but he still masterfully portrays the personalities of each sheep. Tongue-in-cheek funny, this is sure to find a place alongside Betsy's earlier escapade. (Picture book. 4-8)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
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16 MB
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Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Gail Carson Levine's first book for children, Ella Enchanted, was a Newbery Honor Book. Levine's other books include Ever, a New York Times bestseller; Fairest, a Best Book of the Year for Publishers Weekly and School Library Journal, and a New York Times bestseller; Dave at Night, an ALA Notable Book and Best Book for Young Adults; The Wish; The Two Princesses of Bamarre; A Tale of Two Castles; and the six Princess Tales books. She is also the author of the nonfiction books Writing Magic: Creating Stories That Fly and Writer to Writer: From Think to Ink, as well as the picture books Betsy Who Cried Wolf and Betsy Red Hoodie. Gail Carson Levine and her husband, David, live in a two-centuries-old farmhouse in the Hudson Valley of New York State.

Scott Nash has illustrated many books for children, including Betsy Who Cried Wolf! by Gail Carson Levine, Saturday Night at the Dinosaur Stomp by Carol Diggory Shields, Over the Moon by Rachel Vail, and Oh, Tucker! by Steven Kroll. He lives with his wife, Nancy, and their dog, Zephyr, in Peaks Island, Maine.

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