Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding Hood Story from China

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Overview

This "gripping variation of Red Riding Hood . . . is an outstanding achievement that will be pored over again and again" (School Library Journal, starred review). "The illustrations seem to throb with the mystery and terror of the wolf."--The Horn Book, starred review. Winner of the 1990 Randolph Caldecott Medal. Full color.

Three sisters staying home alone are endangered by a hungry wolf who is disguised as their grandmother.

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Overview

This "gripping variation of Red Riding Hood . . . is an outstanding achievement that will be pored over again and again" (School Library Journal, starred review). "The illustrations seem to throb with the mystery and terror of the wolf."--The Horn Book, starred review. Winner of the 1990 Randolph Caldecott Medal. Full color.

Three sisters staying home alone are endangered by a hungry wolf who is disguised as their grandmother.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This version of the Red Riding Hood story from Young ( The Emperor and the Kite ; Cats Are Cats ; Yeh-Shen ) features three daughters left at home when their mother goes to visit their grandmother. Lon Po Po, the Granny Wolf, pretends to be the girls' grandmother, until clever Shang, the eldest daughter, suspects the greedy wolf's real identity. Tempting him with ginkgo nuts, the girls pull him in a basket to the top of the tree in which they are hiding, then let go of the rope--killing him. One of Young's most arresting illustrations accompanies his dedication: ``To all the wolves of the world for lending their good name as a tangible symbol for our darkness.'' Like ancient Oriental paintings, the illustrations are frequently grouped in panels. When the girls meet the wolf, e.g., the left panel focuses on their wary faces peering out from the darkness, the middle enlarges the evil wolf's eye and teeth, and the third is a vivid swirl of the blue clothes in which the wolf is disguised. The juxtaposition of abstract and realistic representations, the complicated play of color and shadow, and the depth of the artist's vision all help transform this simple fairy tale into an extraordinary and powerful book. Ages 4-8. (Nov.)
School Library Journal
Gr 1-5-- A gripping variation on Red Riding Hood that involves three little sisters who outsmart the wolf ( lon or long in Cantonese) who has gained entry to their home under the false pretense of being their maternal grandmother ( Po Po ). The clever animal blows out the candle before the children can see him , and is actually in bed with them when they start asking the traditional ``Why, Grandma!'' questions. The eldest realizes the truth and tricks the wolf into letting them go outside to pick gingko nuts , and then lures him to his doom. The text possesses that matter-of-fact veracity that characterizes the best fairy tales. The watercolor and pastel pictures are remarkable: mystically beautiful in their depiction of the Chinese countryside, menacing in the exchanges with the wolf, and positively chilling in the scenes inside the house. Overall, this is an outstanding achievement that will be pored over again and again.--John Philbrook, San Francisco Pub . Lib .
School Library Journal
Gr 1-5-With forceful impressionistic paintings, Young artfully entices readers across the fairy-tale threshold into a story of three girls' fearless battle of wits with a famished wolf. (Dec. 1989)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780788724961
  • Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC
  • Publication date: 1/1/1989
  • Format: Other
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Age range: 5 years

Meet the Author

Caldecott medalist Ed Young was born in Tientsin, China, and brought up in Shanghai. He cites the philosophy of Chinese painting as an inspiration for much of his work. "A Chinese painting is often accompanied by words," he explains; "they are complementary. There are things that words do that pictures never can, and likewise, there are images that words can never describe."

Mr. Young has been illustrating children's books for more than twenty years and has won many awards. He received the 1990 Caldecott Medal for his book Lon Po Po, and his much-lauded collaboration with anthologist Nancy Larrick, Cats Are Cats, was named one of the Ten Best Illustrated Books of 1988 by The New York Times.

Mr. Young studied at the University of Illinois, the Art Center of Los Angeles, and Pratt Institute in New York City. He and his family live in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York.

copyright 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 14 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 28, 2012

    The Big, Bad Wolf

    Lon Po Po is a version of Little Red Hiding Hood told from a Chinese cultural perspective. The story involves three sisters that are waiting for their mother to return. Before the mother leaves, she warns the girls that they mustn't open the door to any strangers. Suddenly there is a knock on the door, and a strange voice behind it. This is a suspenseful tale, made even more so by the beautiful water color and pastel illustrations of Edward Young. I recommend this book for home or in a classroom because it offers a glimpse of Ancient Chinese culture.

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  • Posted April 18, 2009

    Classic Tale with a Twist

    It's Little Red Riding Hood meets Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon! My son did a class report on this Caldecot Winner and it had everything a little boy would love: brave children, suspense and a killer wolf. Great children's folk tale for kids who like a little adventure.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2007

    Lon Po Po Review

    Caldecott Book Title: Lon Po Po Reading Level: Third Grade 3.9 Genre: Fairy Tale About the Author: Ed Young was born in Tientsin, China, where he grew up in Shanghai, and brings his Eastern heritage to his artwork. From the authentic Oriental papercut technique of The Emperor and the Kite to the rich and glowing pastels of Yeh Shen, Mr. Young attains a versatility of feeling, theme, and style. Mr. Young studied at the University of Illinois, the Art Center of Los Angeles, and the Pratt Institute of New York. He now lives in New York with his wife, Filomena. Book Review: The Chinese tale of Lon Po Po, like the European tale of Little Red Riding Hood, comes from an ancient tradition that is thought to be over a thousand years old. The story begins with three sisters being left alone at home while their mother goes to visit their grandmother. The mother warns the children to close the door tight and to latch it. The children do as they are told. Unfortunately, soon after the mother is gone, the children hear a knock at the door and it¿s the clever wolf disguising his voice as their granny. ¿My little jewels¿, said the wolf, ¿this is your grandmother, your Po Po.¿ The children foolishly open the door and let the wolf into their home. The wolf quickly blows out the candle so the girls cannot recognize him. However, Shang, the eldest and most clever daughter, catches a glimpse of the wolf¿s hairy face and recognizes the danger. ¿At once, Shang lit the light and the wolf blew it out again, but Shang had seen the wolf¿s hairy face.¿ The girls then quickly devise a plan to get rid of the wolf once and for all. ¿Po Po, Po Po,¿ she said, for she was not only the eldest, she was the most clever, ¿you must be hungry.¿ I recommend this book for reading enjoyment as it is a book of not only classic beauty, but such charm as well. Bibliographic Information: Young, Ed. Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding Hood Story from China. New York: Philomel Books a division of The Putnam & Grosset Group, 1989.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2007

    Caldecott Winner!

    A wolf enters a Chinese household where three girls live and pretends to be their grandmother. When the wolf enters the house the girls began to question him about his furry feet. The girls think something is wrong and take matters into their own hands. What did the girls do- read to find out! The reading level is 4-8 and this book is a fantasy fiction. Young, Ed. Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding Hood Story from China. NY: Philomel. 1989.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2007

    Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding Hood Story from China

    The book ¿Lon Po Po¿ was both translated and illustrated by Ed Young. It was published in 1989 and won the Caldecott Medal in 1990. It is also a Red-Riding Hood story from China. Young was born in Tienstin, China. The philosophy of Chinese painting was his inspiration. He has illustrated over 40 books, four of which he has also written. He graduated from the Los Angeles Art Center. Young and his wife currently live in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York. ¿Lon Po Po¿ takes place in China, and it starts off with a woman who lives with her three children. The woman leaves the children by themselves one day to go visit their grandmother Po Po for her birthday. Before she left, she tells her children to ¿remember to close the door tight at sunset and latch it well.¿ Her children done what they were told to do. Meanwhile, an old wolf had seen their mother leave and went to their house. The wolf disguised himself as the children¿s grandmother and then knocked on the door twice: ¿bang, bang.¿ The oldest child asked who it was, and the wolf replied saying ¿this is your grandmother, your Po Po.¿ The child asked the wolf several questions before letting her in. Finally, the wolf convinced the children to believe that she was their grandmother, and they unlatched the door to let her in. The wolf made her way in and blew out the candle the children were using for light. What do you think happened to children? This story is a cruel twist to the original Little Red-Riding hood, although I think the moral lesson is a very important one for children. It teaches children to obey their parents and to not trust strangers. Although the illustrations might be too scary for young readers, they still appropriately suit the book. I did like the watercolors and pastels that Young used for the illustrations. Overall, I think this book is more suitable for an older audience. The recommended grade level for this book is third grade, ninth month. The age range is 4 to 8.Young, Ed. Lon Po Po. New York: Philomel Books, 1989.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2007

    Here is an encouraging book for readers.

    Ed Young learned discipline and a way of life from the Tai Chi Chuan which in turn impacted his art. He tells his thoughts so others can be inspired he states: Be open to inspiration. Inspiration leads to creativity. Be open to play. In play we see mistakes as Stepping-stones to fulfillment. Be open to challenges. Challenges offer us a chance to grow. It is the willingness of labor that We mature and find excellence. Ed grew up in Shanghai. School was not important to him and he did not take an interest in it. He used his study time for imaging or drawing. Later on, Young ventured to the United States and attended the Art Center College of Design in Lost Angeles. His work was inspired from different cultures. Respect was the word that guided as he toured into the different countries and ancient times through his books. His villain in Lon Po Po is treated with respect, but empathy is not rewarded. Lon Po Po received the Caldecott Award. A mother lived together with her three children, and she was going to see Po Po and would not be home until the following day. Wolf saw the mother leave so he disguised himself as Po Po. There was two knocks at the door. The book says ¿Shang, who was the eldest, said through the latched door, `Who is it?¿¿ Wolf tries tricking them to open the door. What happens to the children? Do they get to see their mother again? Read the book to find out the ending. The reading level of the book is third grade, ninth month. I like the book it tells the readers to be careful no to trust strangers so easily and to listen to their mother. It tells a great lesson and it is a very encouraging book. Young, Ed. Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding Hood Story From China. New York: Penguin Putham, 1989.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2006

    Cute story

    Long, Long ago, a good woman lived contentedly with her three daughters. Shag, Tao, and Paotze in the country side of northern China. But one day she had to leave to visit their granny, so she warned her children, ¿to close the door tight and to latch it.¿ Soon after, here was a knock at the door and a voice saying, ¿this is your granny.¿ The children let her in and found that it was someone with a hairy face. They trick the wolf and end up killing the wolf, then their mother returns safely.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2006

    Lon Po Po puts a new twist on the old classic, Red Riding Hood.

    The story begins with three sisters who are being left alone at home while their mother goes to visit their grandmother. Prior to leaving, the mother tells the girls to keep all of the doors locked and not to allow anyone in while she is gone. The three daughters do as they are told. Unfortunately, a clever wolf overheard about the mother¿s trip. The wolf dresses up like an old woman and knocks at the door. When the girls ask who is there, the wolf replies that it was 'Po Po'(The girls grandmother) who has come to visit them. Foolishly, they let him in. The girls ask questions regarding the grandmother's odd new features. It wasn¿t until Shang, the eldest, caught a glimpse of the wolf's large, brown snout that she recognized the true seriousness and danger of their situation. The girls devise a plan to get rid of the sly wolf once and for all. Although I found this story fascinating, it¿s dark illustrations and violent plot line, may be too frightening for younger readers. I would recommend this book for students in the third grade or higher.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2006

    Lon Po PO

    Lon Po Po is a Caldecott Award book. This book is a Red-Riding Hood story from China. Long ago a woman lived with her three daughters. She left to goo and visit their grandmother. She told them, ¿Remember to close the door tight at sunset and latch it well!¿. The daughters done as is a Caldecott Award book. This book is a Red-Riding Hood story from China. Long ago a woman lived with her three daughters. She left to goo and visit their grandmother. She told them, ¿Remember to close the door tight at sunset and latch it well!¿. The daughters done as their mother had told them. At sunset a knock came at the door. The voice on the other side said it was their PoPo (grandmother). Will the girls let the person inside? This book would be good for grades 3-7. I enjoyed this book. I didn¿t realize that other countries told the same stories as our country does. This is a traditional story. The author Ed Young was born in Tientsin, China. He grew up in Shanghai. Mr. Young lives in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, with his wife, Filomena. He has also written Yeh Shen, A cinderalla story from china. Young, Ed. Lon Po Po. New York: Philomel Books, 1989.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2006

    A small twist to an old tale.

    Lon Po Po, A Red-Riding Hood Story From China is a interesting variation the the original. The story takes place in China, with 3 sisters. The mother has left them home while she travel to her grandmothers house. Watching from the forest, the wolf watches the mother until she is out of sight. The wolf then disguises himself as the grandmother. This is a traditional tale that has been told for years, so readers can guess what happens next. The only difference between the stories, is that in this version, written by Ed Young, the young children lure the wolf to a ginko tree, were he is easily decieved. Ed Young was born in Tientsin, China, and grew up in Shanghai. He has illustrated over 80 books, and written 15. He studies at the University of Illinois, the Art Center of Los Angeles, and the Pratt Institute of New York. Currently he lives in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, with his wife. He won the 1990 Caldecott for his version of Little Red Riding Hood. I really enjoyed reading a different version of an old tradition tale with a different twist. The twist in the story begins the eldest child saying, ' Po Po, Po Po, you must be hungry, Have you eaten gingko nuts?' The other then explains what gingko is. His illustrations are focused in on the main themes of the book which are the children and the wolf and how some things aren't always what they seem. I also the use of the watercolors and pastels. Grade Level: 3rd Young, Ed. Lon Po Po: A Red Riding Hood Story From China. New York: Philomel Books, 1989.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2006

    Great Tale!

    This books theme is a story from China with a different take on the classic tale of The Little Red Riding Hood. It starts out with a mother leaving her three children alone, so she can visit her grandmother for her birthday. The mother tells the three children Shang, Tao, and Paotze that they must not open the door for anyone and to stay inside for their own protection. But, soon after the mother leaves a familiar sound comes from the front door it sounds like grandma. The children go to the door and open it, but the person at the door is the wolf dressed as their grandma. Can you guess what happens next? The author of this book Ed Young is a winner of the 1990 Caldecott Medal, has illustrated over 40 books for children, four of which he has also written. This 'gripping variation of Red Riding Hood . . . is an outstanding achievement that will be pored over again and again' (School Library Journal, starred review). This books genre is a picture book because of its lovely artwork and illustrations. This book would be great for any age level because every child has heard the story of Little Red Riding Hood.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2001

    Beautiful Opportunity to Learn About Comparative Literature

    Many people never have the opportunity to compare literatures from different cultures. Lon Po Po offers a rare chance for a 4-8 year old to have that experience. The book is gorgeously illustrated in panels of stunning shades of shifting color, providing the feeling of an oriental screen. The images themselves seem to be rendered in pastels and grease sticks. It was no surprise to me that this book won the Caldecott Medal in 1990 for the best illustrated children's book. It is one of the very best of such medalists that I have seen. In the book, mother leaves to visit grandmother for her birthday leaving her three daughters, Shang, Tao, and Paotze home alone. 'Remember to close the door tight at sunset and latch it well.' An old wolf sees the mother leave. He dresses up like an old woman and after dark knocks on the door. 'Bang, bang.' He says, 'This is your grandmother, your Po Po.' Shang challenges him, and the wolf lies. Tao and Paotze let him in, and the wolf blows out the candle so he could not be seen. He gives the two girls who let him in a hug, and they all go to bed together. Shang notices that 'your foot has a brush on it' referring to his tail. He replies that they are 'hemp strings to weave you a basket.' She then mentions that 'your hand has thorns on it' referring to his claws. He responds that it is an 'awl to make shoes for you.' Shang figures something is wrong. She asks the wolf if he has ever eaten gingko nuts. He says not. The children offer to get him some. Once in the tree, Shang tells her sisters they have a wolf. They lure the wolf into a basket held by a rope and pull him up into the tree. Then they drop him repeatedly until he dies from the fall. The girls share their story with their mother when she returns the next day. As you can see, the story is much like Little Red Riding Hood. No one is harmed by the wolf, which makes the story a little less terrifying and horrible. The battle of wits is significant here, as in Little Red Riding Hood. The book also displays the issues involved around children being home alone, and the need for children to communicate and cooperate with each other. Shang probably would not have let the wolf in. After you finish enjoying the story and its illustrations and thinking about how it differs from Little Red Riding Hood, I suggest you also think about why stories about wild animals attacking from the woods are common to many cultures. Why do you think these stories were told originally? Why have they persisted in having appeal? Do you think they will be popular 1000 years from now? Why? Enjoy and appreciate differences! Donald Mitchell, co-author of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent Solution

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2001

    Read this book!

    This book was a hard decision. Keyosha gave it one star but the rest of us gave it three stars. We would like you to read this book because it was okay to us. Ms. Kay kind of helped us, though! We worked out our group a little bit.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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