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Carmine: A Little More Red
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Carmine: A Little More Red

by Melissa Sweet
 

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Carmine is a painter, always in search of just the right color (especially anything in the red family) to add to her paintings. So when she and her dog Rufus set off on their bike to Granny’s, she is too easily lured by a lovely meadow full of poppies. And, as she begins painting, she is too oblivious to danger lurking along the path.

Overview


Carmine is a painter, always in search of just the right color (especially anything in the red family) to add to her paintings. So when she and her dog Rufus set off on their bike to Granny’s, she is too easily lured by a lovely meadow full of poppies. And, as she begins painting, she is too oblivious to danger lurking along the path.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
For her authorial debut, Sweet (The Boy Who Drew Birds) offers a colorful, abecedarian take on Little Red Riding Hood. Creative details, both visual and verbal, abound as Sweet introduces Carmine as a thoughtful, creative painter whom Granny invites over for a bowl of alphabet soup, warning her to be careful and not to dawdle. The letter D demonstrates how well the heroine heeds advice: "Some people dilly-dally once in a while, but Carmine made a habit of it." The letters introduce an array of words, from unfamiliar ones children will likely have overheard ("The light was exquisite. Carmine began making a picture for Granny") to ones that just sound cool ("Everyone knows it isn't very nice to call a person, or even a bird, a nincompoop, but sometimes Carmine could not help herself"). Full-bleed spreads and panel-like progressions chart the proceedings. Carmine's dog senses trouble "lurking," and inadvertently reveals the location of Granny's house to the wolf. Luckily, even without a woodsman (he's out of town), a happy ending is in store. Sweet's mixed-media illustrations feature penciled outlines and bright watercolor washes that could have been culled from the heroine's own notebooks. A few words lack sufficient context (for "haiku," an example is given, but an older reader will have to explain the poetic form), but this is a quibble in an overall entertaining package. Ages 4-8. (Apr.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Carmine offers fresh new perspectives verbally and visually each time it is read. It is not only a more contemporary version of Red Ridinghood. It is also an alphabet book where the words chosen, vocabulary enhancers for young readers like "exquisite," "nincompoop," "omen," and "surreal" are all carefully worked into the story. And Carmine is an aspiring artist as well; more than ten words for shades of red appear on the front end-papers, while her art efforts are important to the story. Her dog Rufus also plays a role; the somewhat non-traditional wolf lurks in a properly menacing fashion. But all ends amusingly well, with the recipe for Granny's alphabet soup a fitting conclusion. The text runs across the tops of the pages, each headed with the appropriate initial lettered word. Wildly inventive watercolor, collage, and other mixed media pictures almost overfill the rest of the space with scenes created with a child-like charm, emphasizing Carmine's innocence and almost obsessive involvement with her painting. Not only are there added comments in speech balloons and asides; there are also allusions in cartoon strips to other fairy tales, making each reading an amusing new adventure. 2005, Houghton Mifflin Children's Books, Ages 4 to 10.
—Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-A fetching retelling of "Little Red Riding Hood" that also works as an effective alphabet book. When Grandmother makes alphabet soup, artistic young Carmine is always invited to lunch. Though told by her mother not to dilly-dally, Carmine, wearing the traditional red cloak and accompanied by her dog, Rufus, is a chronic dawdler. As she stops to make a painting of some exquisite poppies for her grandmother, a lurking wolf enters Granny's house. The fresh and imaginative mixed-media art imitates the sketchbook of a child artist. The inventive layout employs a variety of techniques to engage viewers and move the story forward. They include maps to and from Granny's house, small insert sketches that make sly references to other fairy tales, and dialogue balloons for Rufus and the wolf in addition to those of the human characters. The abecedarian form of storytelling highlights a word on each page (pluck, quiver, reckoned, surreal); each word is first named and then used in a sentence that moves the tale along and suggests its meaning. And the surprise ending is both pleasantly suspenseful and satisfying. A charmer.-Caroline Ward, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The illustrator tries her hand at words and images in this delightful alphabet and fairytale twist. Carmine loves to make pictures, and she loves all the versions of the color red, like her name. When Granny calls and mentions she's made alphabet soup ("beware of dangers"), Carmine takes her dog Rufus, her bike, her paints and paper and goes off to Gran's, after promising not to "dilly-dally." However, she cannot resist the call of some poppies, so the local "lurking" wolf does indeed get to Gran's house first. When Carmine and Rufus get there-with her painting of poppies-things are quite the mess. But it's only the soup bones the wolf was after, so Granny's released from the closet, she and Carmine finish the alphabet soup and Carmine goes home safely. Besides her vivacious paint and collage pictures, Sweet plays with her love of words by highlighting in alphabetical order, above and within the text, some unusual choices for an alphabet: "exquisite," "nincompoop," "zillion." Includes Granny's recipe for alphabet soup. (Picture book. 4-7)
From the Publisher

"A fetching retelling of “Little Red Riding Hood” that also works as an effective alphabet book. . . . The fresh and imaginative mixed-media art imitates the sketchbook of a child artist." --School Library Journal,starred School Library Journal, Starred

"For her authorial debut Sweet . . . offers a colorful, abecedarian take on Little Red Riding Hood. Creative details, both visual and verbal, abound."

Publishers Weekly

"The illustrator tries her hand at words and images in this delightful alphabet and fairytale twist. . . . Besides her vivacious paint and collage pictures, Sweet plays with her love of words." --Kirkus Kirkus Reviews

"the sunny mixed-media art—nicely sparked with reds in all their bright variety—tells the story beautifully." —Horn Book Horn Book

"Reading is believing." New York Times Book Review New York Times Book Review Notable Book

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780618997176
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
05/05/2008
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
879,858
Product dimensions:
8.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.16(d)
Lexile:
AD640L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

Meet the Author


Melissa Sweet is the Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator of many fine children’s books including Balloons Over Broadway, a Sibert winner, and The Right Word and A River of Words, both Caldecott Honors. Reviewers have described her unique mixed-media illustrations as “exuberant,” “outstanding,” and “a creative delight.” Melissa lives on the beautiful coast of Maine, not far from E.B. White's famous barn and farm. In addition to writing and painting, she enjoys gardening, hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing. For more information about the author and her work, visit www.melissasweet.net.

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