In this version of the old story, quiet menace seems to pervade every scene. Evetts-Secker (The Barefoot Book of Mother and Son Tales) lingers on the darker bits of the tale, dwelling with spooky pleasure on the scene in which the wolf (whose long teal-colored tail and smooth skin seem positively reptilian) lures the girl off the path with the suggestion that she pick flowers for her grandmother: "Little Red Riding Hood gazed to the left, and gazed to the right, then back to the left path, thinking how much she would love to pick flowers." In Ceccoli's (The Faerie's Gift) dense pastels, the forest itself sways with indecision. Colorful birds swoop through the treetops, but the trees draw back, as if fearing the girl's rash act and its consequences. When Little Red Riding Hood makes her way to grandmother's house, its sunny yellow walls loom over her, phantasmagorically. The famous observations are made ("Oh Grandmother! What big ears you have"), the girl is eaten, and the hunter arrives just in time to cut the wolf open and free its victims. The last page shows grandmother and granddaughter sharing the meal the girl has brought; a reassuring end to an eerie journey. Ages 4-8. (Mar.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-This version of a familiar folktale features heavily stylized art and unremarkable prose. The traditional story line and plot points remain intact: a pretty child in a red cape goes to visit her sick grandmother, gets mixed up with a cunning wolf, and is rescued by a valiant woodsman. Evetts-Secker modifies it with implausible narrative details ("She had never noticed birdsong in the woods before. How strange!") and a total abandonment of the moral that concludes this traditionally cautionary tale ("-she wondered whether she would ever meet another wolf in the forest, and if so, what would she do then?"). Pass on this one.-Catherine Threadgill, Charleston County Public Library, SC Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Luminous colors, a deft combination of visual delicacy and richness, and a touch of surrealism make Little Red Riding Hood's adventure a glowing feast for the eyes. Ceccoli uses acrylics, pencils, and oil pastels on canvas to create entrancing art with a soft texture. The canvas underneath is faintly and beautifully visible. The wolf curls around three sides of a page, serpent-like, almost surrounding Red. As they saunter down the path, fantastical trees tip precariously and diagonally above them. Peculiar tree shapes and impossible angles of growth reveal the potential danger of Red's decision to stray from the path. Evetts-Secker's clear, thoughtful text has Red bringing Granny "some fresh bread, some new butter and some sweet elderberry wine," and the ending is Grimm, not Perrault: a woodcutter is savior, and Red fills the wolf's belly with rocks. Gorgeous and shining with light throughout. (Picture book/fairytale. 3-6)