Wisnewski (A Cottage Garden Alphabet) retells the familiar story, adorning it with graceful illustrations that emulate woodcuts, washed with saturated watercolors, and brimming with details. In her retelling, she recasts the nearby woodsman as Little Red Riding Hood's father and, arriving at Grandmother's, the heroine recognizes the wolf straightaway and uses the familiar questions regarding the odd physiognomy to buy time. Other details strike familiar tones: Grandmother is swallowed whole ("It had been a slim winter"), and the girl's father, after "carefully slitting open the wolf's stomach," stares gravely into the belly of the flayed but bloodless creature. (Flowered bed curtains spare his daughter�and readers�any implied gore.) Unfortunately, the narrative suffers from several overlong sentences (e.g., " 'Thank you, wolf,' she said and started down the path not noticing that as soon as she turned her back the wolf slid back into the trees and took yet one more of his shortest short cuts through the woods"). Children will enjoy studying the detailed artwork, from Grandmother's pets (a tabby hides under the bed while a ginger cat flees) to cozy interiors modeled on Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts (according to an author's note). The bookmaking's lovely, too: lupine footprints trot across the front cover (beneath the book jacket), and red gingham endpapers conjure both the cloth protecting Little Red's basket and Grandmother's cheery tablecloth. Ages 7-up. (Jan.)Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
A handsomely illustrated version of a folktale favorite. Wisnewski's retelling is straightforward and the language has a comfortable, folksy cadence. The tale ends happily, as Little Red Riding Hood's father comes to the rescue, vanquishes the wolf, and extracts Grandmother from its stomach, "shocked and shaken, but none the worse for wear." The illustrations-black-and-white prints made from cut-paper designs and then painted in watercolors-have the depth and texture of woodcuts. An author's note sets the tale in Old Sturbridge Village, a living history museum in Massachusetts, and the artwork reflects details of life in early-19th-century rural New England. While the characters' faces tend to be a bit wooden, their clothing and other fabrics, the exteriors and interiors of the houses, and the snow-covered woods are all vividly and gracefully rendered. The endpapers' red-and-white checkered pattern is repeated on the napkin covering the basket of goodies and the tablecloth in Grandmother's kitchen, and bright red winterberries provide a colorful balance to the child's "bright as a berry" cloak. Visual details abound, and observant youngsters will notice that a calico cat plays a heroic role in the story. An eye-catching addition to folk and fairytale shelves.
Joy FleishhackerCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
- Godine, David R. Publishers, Inc.
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 7.20(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.60(d)
- Age Range:
- 8 - 12 Years
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