Pretty Salma: A Little Red Riding Hood Story from Africa

Overview

When Granny asks Pretty Salma to go to the market one day, she warns her not to talk to strangers. But cunning Mr. Dog tricks Salma, and before she knows it, he’s wearing her stripy ntama, her pretty white beads, and her yellow sandals. And he’s on his way to Granny’s house! African culture and flavor infuse this inventive retelling of a favorite fairy tale, and the vibrant lively illustrations bring it to life. The result is a story that combines new and old and spans cultures as successfully as it has spanned ...

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Overview

When Granny asks Pretty Salma to go to the market one day, she warns her not to talk to strangers. But cunning Mr. Dog tricks Salma, and before she knows it, he’s wearing her stripy ntama, her pretty white beads, and her yellow sandals. And he’s on his way to Granny’s house! African culture and flavor infuse this inventive retelling of a favorite fairy tale, and the vibrant lively illustrations bring it to life. The result is a story that combines new and old and spans cultures as successfully as it has spanned the centuries.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Daly's retelling offers a pleasing blend of familiar and original elements ... beams with sassy good fun." Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"Little Red Riding Hood is reinvented for a new audience in this colorful retelling of the classic fairy tale." Publishers Weekly

"Daly's boldly colored illustrations perfectly match this West African incarnation of the classic story." School Library Journal

"A mixture of the traditional and the contemporary in a Ghanaian urban setting." Booklist, ALA

"The South African writer/illustrator...create[s] an unusual version of the popular rural European cautionary tale set in contemporary urban Ghana." Kirkus Reviews

Elizabeth Ward
Niki Daly…picks up the tale of Little Red Riding Hood and plunks it down in Ghana. He has a good time messing with it…But the moral about steering clear of strangers is the same, and Daly's airy, action-packed illustrations are hilarious.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly

The story of Little Red Riding Hood is reinvented for a new audience in this colorful retelling of the classic fairy tale. Set against the backdrop of West Africa, the famous red-caped heroine expands her fashion horizons by donning a more culturally appropriate ensemble than the classic red hood ("Salma put on her blue scarf, her stripy ntama, her pretty white beads and her yellow sandals"). Detailed illustrations play out a multi-hued environment bustling with activity, from the natives carrying food in baskets on their heads, to cars driving by, crammed with passengers. Initially Daly sticks to the traditional storyline, sending Salma out on an errand to help Granny and then encountering the wolf-like Dog. The latter character is somewhat less frightening than in the original story, making some threats that he fails to follow through on. The author then mixes the plot up a bit by employing some African-influenced devices like a boogeyman mask and native drums. In fact, it is these tools, along with help from Salma's grandfather, that help save the day and reverse the endangered Granny's fate. This version will appeal to a new generation of readers with its fast pace, vibrant imagery and final universal message where good triumphs over evil. Ages 5-8. (Apr.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz
In this riotously funny Ghanaian version of the Red Riding tale, Salma is sent to the market by her old granny, who warns her not to talk to strangers. She sets off, singing her favorite song, and purchases what is on granny's list. On her way home, she meets Mr. Dog, who offers to help carry her heavy basket. Soon, he has cleverly acquired most of her clothes. But he can't seem to learn her song and refuses to return them until he can. Frightened, she runs to her grandfather for help. Putting on the traditional mask of the Bogeyman, grandfather, with Salma and Little Abubaker, leaves to go frighten away Mr. Dog. Meanwhile, Mr. Dog has arrived at Granny's dressed as Salma. Suspicious Granny has the well-known questions. But Mr. Dog is preparing to cook her when help arrives for the happy ending. The very lively tale is told in a cartoony style, chiefly in vignettes, with a few expanding scenes of city streets introduced on the end-papers with the animated mask and drums. It is Salma's personality that draws us in, but it is Mr. Dog's antics that make us laugh. Watercolors combine with digital media to keep this comic melodrama light-hearted. In the end, Salma has learned the lesson of obedience of all her fellow folktale Riding Hoods.
Kirkus Reviews
The South African writer/illustrator branches out to create an unusual version of the popular rural European cautionary tale set in contemporary urban Ghana. When Pretty Salma strays into the "wild side of town," Mr. Dog fools the innocent, trusting girl into giving him her basket, her sandals, her ntama (a wrap-around skirt), her scarf, her necklace and even her song. He uses his disguise to take over Pretty Salma's place in Grandmother's home (a role reversal), but Salma wises up in a hurry and thinks up a plan to foil his attempt to eat "granny soup." With her storytelling grandfather acting as Anansi, the well-known spider trickster of West Africa, her young friend playing the clapping sticks and Salma herself masked as Ka Ka Motobi the Bogeyman, the band of traditional characters rescues Granny from the clutches of the wily cur. The watercolor and computer-generated illustrations abound in funny details, but some may find the large, white eyeballs shared by Granny and Mr. Dog to be somewhat stereotypical. (Picture book/folklore. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618723454
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 4/15/2007
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 195,925
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.40 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Niki Daly is the award-winning author and illustrator of many books for children. He lives in Kleinmond, a small seaside town in Western Cape, South Africa, and often finds inspiration for his stories in African peoples and cultures.

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