Cloaked in Red

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Eight witty stories that parody the Little Red Riding Hood tale

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Eight witty stories that parody the Little Red Riding Hood tale

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Judy Silverman
These are wonderful stories—very odd takes on Red Riding Hood, for already-cynical readers, in other words, teens. The introduction is absolutely not to be missed. "... a mother sends her daughter into the woods, where there is not only a wolf, but a talking, cross-dressing wolf... [Red Riding Hood's] actions clearly show that she is much too young, or too dimwitted, to be allowed out of the house alone." Other examples of irresponsible adults' behavior in fairy tales abound. Goldilocks' parents... "not only let her play in the bear-infested woods, they neglect to give her that most basic advice: ?Don't break into strangers' homes.'" The fathers in Rumpelstiltskin and Rapunzel would not win any prizes, either. And we are definitely not discussing stepmothers. Now we come to the stories. "Once upon a time" is made a little more specific—"after fashion was discovered, but before people had makeovers on TV" and "before department stores and designer labels." The heroine is often given a name—Meg, Georgette, Roselle, and Nelda, for example, and a personality. These young women can think for themselves, and are often memorable. Some of the stories are written from the wolf's point of view. Wolves are, of course, wild animals, even in fairy tales, and these wolves either misunderstand human language and behavior (which can be clever and funny) or understand them all too well (in which case, the atmosphere can suddenly turn quite dark). The reader needs to suspend disbelief and let imagination run wild. Recommended. Reviewer: Judy Silverman
VOYA - Kim Carter
Convinced that the story of Little Red Riding Hood is "the perfect example of the exact opposite of a good story," Vivian vande Velde offers eight new versions, each attempting to redeem the misbegotten tale, serving up a new imagining of this old standard: fashion-challenged Meg, whose mother insists on dying her favorite cloak bright red; Nelda, the resourceful young widowed granny, and her annoyingly persistent and narcissistic suitor Gladwyn, the woodcutter; Roselle and her werewolf grandmother; helpful but near-sighted Deems, the wood gatherer; the young seamstress, Georgette, who, longing for a child of her own, creates an amazingly lifelike doll with a red riding cloak; a wolf plagued by miscommunication; ne'er-do-wells Willy and Jakob, a couple of brothers who live in their own fantasy world; and a fairy godmother's naming-day wish gone awry. An iconoclastic mix of fairy tale format and modern day zeitgeist ("Once upon a time, before department stores and designer labels, there was a young seamstress named Georgette.") Vande Velde's stories poke fun at both classic and current culture. The author's note provides a light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek introduction through analyzing the classic versions of Little Red Riding Hood in relation to the elements of a good story, setting up Cloaked in Red particularly well for use in middle-school English/language arts classes. Erstwhile young authors, fairy tale aficionados, and young readers in search of some light fun will enjoy this brief collection of short stories. Reviewer: Kim Carter
VOYA - Abigail Gill
I enjoyed reading Cloaked in Red, with its eight separate spoofs of the age-old fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood. Each short story is full of color, bold, eccentric characters, and witty language. I especially like the stories' ties to other well-known fairy tales. Reviewer: Abigail Gill, Teen Reviewer
School Library Journal
Gr 7–9—Vande Velde adds to her collection of twisted fairy tales with these eight versions of "Little Red Riding Hood." Following a tongue-in-cheek author's note in which the author analyzes the premise and characterization in the traditional tale, she asserts that "'Little Red Riding Hood' is a strange and disturbing story that should probably not be shared with children." Her new, often creepy personalities and situations are created around the classic narrative and dialogue patterns. One story brings in the woodcutter as a villainous kidnapper of little girls while another introduces Granny as a werewolf. Sarcasm and satire are also present in a couple of the stories with the Brothers Grimm featured as bumbling sons of the woodcutter while in another the red cloak itself is personified to foreshadow the appearance of a notorious red cape belonging to a certain superhero of the 20th century. Through it all, the Little Reds of Vande Velde's imagination prevail and outsmart each new challenge. Bizarrely comedic, this slender anthology will leave older readers with some "ha-ha" moments when reflecting on the absurdity of each new scenario and conclusion. A possible segue into creative-writing workshops and assignments or just another fun read.—Rita Soltan, Youth Services Consultant, West Bloomfield, MI
Kirkus Reviews

The opening salvo is an author's note in which veteran writer Vande Velde neatly deconstructs and skewers the original Little Red Riding Hood story--and then proceeds to write eight variations on it. Each begins with tongue stuffed in cheek: "Once upon a time, after fashion was discovered but before people had makeovers on TV"; "Once upon a time, before online dating services...." Other tales appear now and then, too, as in "The Little Red Headache," told from the wolf's point of view, in which he is haunted by a dream of three little pigs, or "Deems the Wood Gatherer," whose neighbor's house looks entirely like a baked treat. "Little Red Riding Hood's Family" not only provides readers with a Granny who is a (were)wolf but also pokes pointedly at the whole glittery vampire thing. The red riding hood itself has a spell and a story of its own, the last told with a delicious connection to "a certain superhero" in a time not so very long ago. Lightweight but cozy and versatile, it's much funnier than the solemn cover lets on. (Fractured fairy tales. 9-14)

Stephanie Zvirin
After gleefully ripping giant holes in the fabric of the familiar “Little Red Riding Hood” (“We’ll just call our youngest daughter after an article of clothing”), Vande Velde, the Edgar Award–winning author, offers eight quirky versions of her own. LRRH isn’t always the main character in these “once upon a time” yarns, which blend wry contemporary commentary with fractured-fairy-tale elements, quirky horror, and a subtle bit of...
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761457930
  • Publisher: Amazon Childrens Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/1/2010
  • Pages: 128
  • Age range: 12 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 920L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Vivian Vande Velde started writing to avoid housework and has authored more than twenty books. She and her husband, Jim, the parents of one grown daughter, live in Rochester, New York.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2011

    Great book

    This was my first vivian vande velde book, and i loved it. Very amusing and enjiyable to read.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 23, 2014

    That cover. Anyway this was interesting with different takes on

    That cover. Anyway this was interesting with different takes on Red Riding Hood or similar in theme, etc. Interesting none the less.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2011

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    Posted October 9, 2011

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    Posted December 8, 2010

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    Posted November 25, 2010

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